US shooting rampage: 13 dead after gunman opens fire at Navy Yard

US ShootingPolice work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard on Monday. (AP)

A US military veteran opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday in a burst of violence that killed 13 people, including the gunman, and set off waves of panic at the military installation just miles from the White House and US Capitol.

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The FBI identified the suspect as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Navy contractor who had two gun-related brushes with the law. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a series of misconduct issues, a Navy official said.

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He was killed in one of several gun battles with police after he entered the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters about 8:20 am (1220 GMT) and started picking off victims in a cafeteria from a fourth-floor atrium, witnesses said.

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That set off pandemonium, with fire alarms sounding and security officers yelling at people to leave the building. Hundreds fled, some scrambling over walls to escape the gunfire. A loudspeaker announcement ordered those who remained to stay in their offices.

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The motive remained unknown. He was armed with an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a handgun, a federal law enforcement source said.

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About 12 people were injured, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said, though it was unclear how many of them were shot. About 3,000 people worked in the building.

Hours later, police were searching for a possible second suspect in an incident that raised questions about security at the Washington Navy Yard, about a mile (1.6 km) south of the US Capitol and 3 miles (5 km) from the White House.

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