UPDATE, 11:07 AM: At a press conference with police and Navy officials, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser says Thursday morning’s incident began when a Navy Yard worker reported hearing what she thought sounded like gunfire.
UPDATE: Multiple law inforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department and Capitol Police, have given an “all-clear” statement at Washington Navy Yard. Another federal law enforcement source says there is no evidence of a shooting incident has been found. Navy Vice Admiral William Hilarides, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, and other officials are expected to make statements.
The Washington Navy Yard is teeming with police officers this morning following unconfirmed reports of a shooter in the complex where a gunman murdered 12 people in September 2013.
No injuries or evidence of a gunman have been found. The Navy has not described the nature of the incident other than to say the sprawling facility remains locked down as law enforcement sweeps buildings.
Reports of sounds akin to gunfire came in about 7:40 AM, prompting the Navy to order the facility to lock down and workers there to shelter in place. Shortly after, though, workers inside Building 197, where the 2013 mass shooting took place, were ordered to evacuate.
NBC News reports that no shots were fired inside Building 197, but police—including officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, Metro Transit Police, and US Capitol Police—are searching the entire Navy Yard.
“I didn’t hear any shooting,” says Todd Parker, who works on the fifth floor of Building 197. “I haven’t heard anyone else say they heard gunshots. I had been getting things from other people, I didn’t hear anything.”
Building 197, which houses about 2,500 employees, is the headquarters of Naval Sea Systems Command, the arm of the Navy responsible for engineering and building ships. Parker says workers in the building were able to evacuate off-base, and are now gathering at the Harris Teeter supermarket on M St., Southeast.
Parker says he heard a fire alarm go off shortly after arriving at work. Police started evacuating the building room-by-room about 15 minutes later, he says.
“For a lot of us this was deja vu all over again,” says Parker. “The response was almost immediate.”
The massive police presence around Navy Yard has closed off several blocks of M St. between South Capitol and 11th streets and many surrounding roads. Metro’s Navy Yard station is still open.