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Thirteen people are dead in Washington, D.C., after one of the worst mass shootings on a military base in American history.
Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old naval veteran and military contractor, opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, killing 12 people and wounding at least eight more, before he was shot dead by law enforcement. According to reports cited in a statement by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Alexis used three guns: an AR-15, a shotgun, and a semiautomatic pistol.
Patricia Ward, a 53-year old civilian employee at the naval yard, was in the cafeteria when the shooting started. She described hearing 3 shots—“pow, pow, pow”—and then a 30-second pause, followed by 4 more shots.
“I didn’t think it was gunshots,” he says. “You can’t really tell if you're not expecting it. And then I heard someone running, which was above me, and people pirouetting out of cubicles to find out what was going on.”
Navy Capt. Mark Vandroff was working in the third-floor conference room when the shooting started. He and his co-workers got down on the floor, and when they stood up, they saw two bullet holes in the wall roughly eight feet off the ground. They stayed huddled there for almost two hours until uniformed police evacuated them.