Published : 2013-09-17 09:44
Updated : 2013-09-17 09:46
|美의사당에 걸린 총격사건 조기 16일(현지시간) 미국 수도 워싱턴DC의 해군체계사령부에서 발생한 총격사건을 애도하기 위해 미 의사당 건물에 조기가 걸려있다. (연합뉴스)|
해군복합시설에 고용된 민간인인 테리 더햄은 이날 오전 8시15분께 3층 사무실에서 나오다가 복도 건너편 40야드 밖에서 총을 든 괴한을 발견했다. 괴한은 더햄을 비롯한 동료들을 향해 총기를 난사했으나 다행히도 빗나갔다.
더햄은 "용의자는 키카 크고 검은 피부였으며 제복 차림에 소총을 들고 있었다"고 말했다. 더햄의 동료인 토드 부른디지는 "괴한은 무표정한 모습이었다"며 "아무런 말이 없고 조용히 총을 발사했다"고 전했다.
또 다른 목격자인 패트리카 워드는 사건당시 복합시설내 카페테리아에서 모두 7발의 총성이 들렸다고 술회했다.
네이비 야드에서 근무하는 팀 지러스 해군장교는 총성이 요란하지 않고 '숨죽인 듯'했다고 말했다. 지러스는 CNN에 나와 "작은 컬리버 화약총이 발사된 것 같았다"고 설명했다.
사건 현장에 대한 강도높은 출입통제 속에서 취재가 이뤄지지 않는 바람에 현지언론들은 사상자 숫자가 엇갈리게 보도하는 등 크고 작은 오보소동이 벌어지기도 했다.
CBS방송과 NBC방송은 용의자를 '롤리 챈스'라는 이름의 해군 하사관이라고 보도했다가 이를 황급히 철회하는 해프닝을 빚었다. (연합뉴스)
Police: 13 dead in shootings at UN Navy complex
A military contractor launched an attack Monday morning inside a building at a U.S. Navy complex, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallway at the heavily secured installation, authorities said. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.
Authorities said they were looking for a second possible attacker who may have been disguised in a military-style uniform.
President Barack Obama said he was mourning ``yet another mass shooting'' and called it a ``cowardly act.'' Despite a string of shootings during his presidency, Obama has been powerless to get gun control legislation passed amid a fierce backlash from conservative politicians and the gun industry lobby.
The Navy Yard attack was the deadliest shooting at a U.S.-based military installation since an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas.
The FBI took charge of the investigation at the Navy Yard and identified the gunman killed in the attack as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Texas. He died after a running gunbattle with police, investigators said. Two Defense Department officials said he was working as a military contractor but it wasn't clear if he was assigned to the Navy Yard. As a contractor, he could have had a badge that might have gained him access to the base. The two officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The Navy said Alexis was full-time reservist from 2007 to early 2011 and worked in a fleet logistics support unit in Texas. It was not immediately clear why he left.
Officials said at least three people were critically wounded in the rampage, including a law enforcement officer. Hospital officials said all three were expected to recover.
Alexis had been arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car in what he described as an anger-fueled ``black out.'' Two construction workers told police that Aaron Alexis walked out of a home next door on May 6, 2004, pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired three shots into the rear tires of their parked car. Alexis later told police he thought the victims had ``disrespected him.'' Court records show he was released on the condition he not have contact with any of the workers.
Investigators said they had not established a motive for the shooting rampage, which unfolded less than four miles (less than 7 kilometers) from the White House. As for whether it may have been a terrorist attack, Mayor Vincent Gray said: ``We don't have any reason to think that at this stage.''
The shooting led to tightened security at the Capitol and White House nearby, including shutting down the Senate while a possible remaining shooter was sought. City Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced the death toll and said people were being told to stay in their homes and out of the area.
Witnesses described a gunman firing down on a cafeteria from an upper floor and a gunman firing at people in a hallway on another floor. It wasn't clear whether the witnesses were describing the same gunman.
The shooting quickly reignited the debate over gun control in the United States, but it was far from certain what the impact would be.
The politics of gun control have only gotten tougher since December's shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School. That shooting, which killed 20 first-graders and six staffers, spurred Obama to propose stricter firearms laws.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday reiterated the Obama's commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.
Gun owners, aided by their advocates at the National Rifle Association, the country's largest gun lobby, have successfully fought Obama's legislation, even though polls show broad support for tougher gun laws.
About 3,000 people work at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, which builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and combat systems.
Todd Brundidge said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a hallway on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.
``He just turned and started firing,'' Brundidge said.
Terrie Durham added, ``He aimed high and missed. He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, `Get out of the building.'''
Rick Mason said a gunman was shooting from a fourth-floor overlook in the hallway outside his office. He said the gunman was aiming down at people in the building's cafeteria. Mason said he could hear the shots but could not see a gunman.
Mason said there are multiple levels of security to reach his office. That ``makes me think it might have been someone who works here,'' he said.
Patricia Ward said she was in the cafeteria.
``It was three gunshots straight in a row _ pop, pop, pop. Three seconds later, it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, so it was like about a total of seven gunshots, and we just started running,'' Ward told reporters.
Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor, Stacy A. Anderson and Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this report. (AP)