POLITICS
09/17/2013 10:03 am ET Updated Sep 23, 2013

Vincent Gray, D.C. Mayor: Sequestration May Have Affected Safety At Navy Yard (UPDATED)

This story has been updated...

In an interview on CNN on Tuesday morning, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray (D) said that federal budget cuts may have played a role in Monday's shootings at the Navy Yard, which left 13 dead, including Aaron Alexis, the man identified the shooter.

"We're continuing this investigation," Gray told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "But certainly, as I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, that we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this, and then we put people at risk. Obviously, 12 people have paid the ultimate price for whatever -- you know, whatever was done to have this man on the base."

Gray -- who said earlier this month that sequestration-related reductions in federal spending have hampered the growth of Washington's economy -- described the Navy Yard as “one of the most secure facilities in the nation."

“How this could happen is beyond belief,” he said, adding that "it really is hard to believe that someone with a record as checkered as this man could conceivably get clearance, could get credentials, to be able to get on the base. I just met with the commandant of the Washington Navy Yard last week. We were talking about the security, and we know this is one of the most secure facilities in the nation."

Cuomo asked Gray if "somebody had been discharged from the city government for a pattern of misconduct that involved some violence, what is the chance they would get near you, in terms of any future jobs?"

"I think it’s absolutely zero. The vetting that would have been done would have been absolutely thorough," Gray said, adding that "he certainly would not have been permitted into sensitive positions."

UPDATED, Sept. 23, 7:16 p.m.: A Navy official who asked to remain anonymous emailed to say that sequestration did not play a role in last week's shootings. Here is the email:

I can tell you that sequestration had absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Alexis' ability to get access to the Navy Yard. He was a credentialed contractor with authorized access.

The DoD IG report that is being cited refers to an access control system that would not and did not apply to Mr. Alexis. And the "cost controls" cited as a deficiency in the report were not alleged to have been sought because of sequestration. The two are absolutely and completely unrelated

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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Politicians React To Navy Yard Shooting

09/17/2013 6:14 PM EDT

There Have Been More Mass Shootings Since Newtown Than You've Heard About (INFOGRAPHIC)

When 13 people died in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, the story made front page news. But many of the mass shootings that have happened since the December massacre of elementary school students and teachers in Newtown, Conn., didn't.

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09/17/2013 5:09 PM EDT

Aaron Alexis Was At Gun Range The Day Before Navy Yard Shooting

The Associated Press reports:

Michael Slocum, an attorney for a Virginia gun store, said in an email that Aaron Alexis visited Sharpshooters Small Arms Range on Sunday. He says Alexis rented a rifle, bought bullets and used the range. He then bought a shotgun and 24 shells.

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09/17/2013 3:12 PM EDT

Alexis Was 'Determined To Kill As Many People As Possible'

WASHINGTON -- Alleged Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis acted alone and was "determined to kill as many people as possible," law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Officials would not comment on Alexis' alleged motive during a press conference held Tuesday afternoon outside the FBI's Washington Field Office, but said they had determined he arrived in the area around Aug. 25 and had been staying at the Residence Inn in Southwest Washington, D.C. since Sept. 7.

The FBI is investigating "hundreds" of tips they have received Monday's shooting. "No piece of information is too small," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave, asking for additional assistance from the public.

Metropolitan Police Officer Scott Williams is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery, according to MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. "We have a very good prognosis from the doctors, he does have serious injuries to his legs. Again, I know the officer and I know his personality, and I'm real confident he will not only walk again but probably will outrun most of us again," Lanier said.

09/17/2013 2:24 PM EDT

FBI: Alexis Only Had A Shotgun

Aaron Alexis entered Building 197 with only a shotgun in his possession, not an assault rifle like some media outlets reported. "We have no information that [Alexis] had an AR-15 assault rifle in his possession," the FBI's Valerie Parlave said in a press conference. "He may have gained access to a handgun ... and after he began shooting."

09/17/2013 2:22 PM EDT

FBI: Shotgun Used In Shooting Was Purchased Legally

09/17/2013 11:52 AM EDT

Aaron Alexis Got Honorable Discharge Despite Disorderly Conduct, Insubordination

Alexis was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2011 after bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and being absent from work without authorization.

The AP reports:

Officials said the bad conduct was enough to make it clear Alexis would not be a good sailor, but not enough to warrant a general or less-than-honorable discharge. They also did not involve criminal offenses, so did not trigger any court-martial proceedings.

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09/17/2013 11:51 AM EDT

Victims' Names Released

Here's a complete list of the victims of yesterday's shooting:

Michael Arnold, 59

Martin Bodrog, 54

Arthur Daniels, 51

Sylvia Frasier, 53

Kathleen Gaarde, 62

John Roger Johnson, 73

Mary Francis Knight, 51

Frank Kohler, 50

Vishnu Pandit, 61

Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46

Gerald L. Read, 58

Richard Michael Ridgell, 52

Suspected gunman Aaron Alexis, 34, died as well.

09/17/2013 11:21 AM EDT

Recovering Victims Worried About Their Co-Workers

Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, told the Associated Press that three victims in yesterday's shooting -- including a police officer who was shot in the legs -- are recovering and in fair or good condition. She said two women who saw others shot are "very worried about their co-workers," but are unaware of the extent of the shooting.

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09/17/2013 11:20 AM EDT

Schools Have Reopened

Schools near Navy Yard that were on lockdown after Monday's shooting have reopened on Tuesday, WJLA reports.

09/17/2013 9:25 AM EDT

District Of Columbia Holds Candlelight Vigil For Victims

"A dozen or so" people gathered for a candlelight vigil at D.C.'s Freedom Plaza last night, reports the Washington City Paper:

"How immune are we becoming to these senseless mass shootings?" Eddie Weingart, the vigil's organizer and the founder of Project End Gun Violence, asked the ceremony's participants, who were flanked by twice as many media members. "Mass shootings are becoming as American as apple pie and baseball."

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