The Washington Navy Yard and surrounding buildings were all put on lockdown. Initially police didn’t know who they were searching for or if Alexis had a partner or partners in this mass shooting. The Navy Yard, Senate Complex, nine public schools were all placed on lockdown. ABC 4 Utah interviewed JD Farrell, the uncle of ABC 4 Utah Meteorologist Curtis Ray, who was on the Washington Navy Yard when the shooting happened.
The first calls came in just before 8am EST Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. The alert was “Shelter in Place.”
“Stay within the building you're located at, stay away from the windows, close the blinds, and remain there until you're told to do something differently,” said Federal Civilian Navy Employee JD Farrell.
JD Farrell talked to ABC 4 Utah on Skype from DC. He was one of the thousands on lockdown while police investigating the shooting. He’s also the uncle of ABC 4 Utah Meteorologist Curtis Ray.
“Whether that be a terrorist attack or something worst like this and obviously the info is coming in sporadicly because they're trying to secure things, they're trying to keep things to a minimum, avoid distraction and confusion,” said Farrell.
And there was plenty of confusion going on. Officials didn’t know if it was one shooter or if there was a team. But police believe 34 year old Aaron Alexis acted alone. He was killed in a gun battle with police. But not before he shot and killed 12 people and injured others.
“I just personally reflected on the time I waste worrying about the little things instead of taking advantage of the things I had around me,” said Farrell.
He was thinking of loved ones like his wife Robin Farrell. Now JD and his co-workers will stay home Tuesday as police close off the base as an active crime scene. He says uneasiness lingers throughout the entire area. A sense of security shattered and addressed by President Obama.
“They know the dangers of serving abroad, but today (Monday) they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home,” said Obama.
President Obama ordered flags at all federal and military building at half-staff for the victims.