WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say the former Navy reservist who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had a string of misconduct problems during his nearly three years in the military, but he received an honorable discharge.
The officials say that Aaron Alexis, 34, had bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and was sometimes absent from work without authorization. The offenses occurred mainly when he was serving in Fort Worth, Texas, from 2008-2011, and were enough to prompt Navy officials to grant him an early discharge through a special program for enlisted personnel.
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.
Authorities say, Alexis fired down from a balcony onto office workers in the Navy Yard's cafeteria below.
Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.
Though authorities said they were seeking a possible second attacker, officials say the rampage increasingly appeared to be the work of a lone gunman.
Investigators said they had not established a motive for the attack, which unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol.
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." But he said the possibility had not been ruled out.
It was the deadliest shooting rampage at a U.S.-based military installation since Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas. He was convicted last month and sentenced to death.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is mourning what he calls "yet another mass shooting" in the United States that took the life of what he says were American patriots.
Obama promised to make sure, quote, "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."
Obama said the victims were "courageous Americans" who knew about the risks of serving overseas, but wouldn't have expected such "unimaginable violence" at home.
Obama later telephoned Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to express his condolences and FBI Director James Comey to commend the agency's response. He also ordered flags on federal property to be flown at half-staff through Friday.