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13 people killed in Washington Navy Yard shooting

At least 13 people were killed at the heavily secured Washington Navy Yard by gunman Aaron Alexis in the deadliest shooting rampage at a US-based military installation since the 2009 Fort Hood shootings. 

By Brett ZongkerAssociated Press, Eric TuckerAssociated Press, Lolita C. BaldorAssociated Press / September 16, 2013

Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. The U.S. Navy says one person is injured after a shooting at a Navy building in Washington. Police and emergency crews gathered Monday morning outside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building, where the shooting was reported.

Jacquelyn Martin/ AP Photo

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A former Navy reservist went on a shooting rampage Monday inside a building at the heavily secured Washington Navy Yard, firing from a balcony onto office workers in an atrium below, authorities and witnesses said. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.

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Authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform.

But as the day wore on and night fell, 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 heart of the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol.

Mayor Vincent Gray said there was no indication it was a terrorist attack, but he added that 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.

President Barack Obama lamented yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American patriots. He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

The FBI took charge of the investigation and identified the gunman killed in the attack as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Texas. He died after a running gunbattle inside the building with police, investigators said.

At the time of the rampage, Alexis was working in information technology with a company that was a Defense Department subcontractor.

Authorities said he may have had a badge that enabled him to get onto the base, but they were still investigating.

Alexis was a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to early 2011, leaving as a petty officer third class, the Navy said. It did not say why he left. He had been an aviation electrician's mate with a unit in Fort Worth, Texas.

Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people on the main floor, which includes a glass-walled cafeteria. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway.

Patricia Ward, a logistics-management specialist, said she was in the cafeteria getting breakfast.

"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 said.

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