As many as seven people were dead after a shooting rampage today at the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in Washington, a Defense Department official said.
One gunman was killed at the scene of the shooting this morning, while police searched for two other men -- both seen in military-style garb -- who may have been involved, Washington Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters at a briefing. Four others were wounded, including a Washington police officer who was in critical condition.
"We will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible," President Barack Obama said before a speech on the fifth anniversary of Wall Street’s financial crisis.
"We are going to be investigating thoroughly what happened -- as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened -- and do everything that we can to try to prevent them," Obama said.
Police have yet to release an official count of the number of those killed. The Defense Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said as many as seven were dead -- and that the toll could go higher.
The shooting, around 8:15 a.m. about a mile from the U.S. Capitol, shuttered streets near the Navy Yard and prompted lockdowns of eight schools nearby. Helicopters circled overhead, and Mayor Vincent Gray advised residents to stay away from the area.
One of those injured by a gunman was a Washington police officer who responded to the incident. "We’ve obviously had a horrific tragedy," Gray told reporters. Gray said at least four people were wounded.
Navy Commander Tim Jirus said he was in his fourth-floor office when the fire alarm went off and he fled to an alley outside. He stopped to speak with another man, whom he didn’t know, when he heard what sounded like gun shots. He saw the man shot in the head.
"To hear the gun shots and realize you were that close makes me a little unnerved," Jirus, who works for Naval Sea Systems Command, told reporters outside the Navy Yard. "It makes me like life a lot today. I’m going to hug my kids the next time I see them.