September 18th, 2013
08:36 PM ET

Mysterious etchings found on Navy Yard shooter's gun: "Better off this way"

New details tonight in the Washington Navy Yard shooting investigation.

We're hearing it's a horrific scene inside building 197. According to our Barbara Starr, officials say there is blood everywhere, and extensive damage including bullet holes, broken doors, and windows. It may be several weeks before the building re-opens.

And there are more stunning details tonight on how a local Navy base failed to report disturbing behavior by gunman Aaron Alexis, just weeks before he shot and killed 12 people.

OutFront tonight, Jim Sciutto who is outside the Navy yard with the latest.

Filed under: Navy Yard Shooting • News
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Julie Stewart

    We are asking the wrong questions. Why was this man denied healthcare at the VA? If all these cases involved guns and mental health issues. We need to pay attention to mental health. Congress should be investigating the VA on these issues. This issue will only increase with time as our Veterans return home. This is a tragedy for everyone. Restructuring the VA so that Veterans can get help WHEN they need it would be a good start.

    September 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  2. Jal

    What's interesting to me these days is these types of events don't surprise me. I'm not shocked, in awe, horrified, etc. I say this because I've worked many years in law and law enforcement. I have watched the dismantling of the mental health system across this country, the stigma of those with mental health issues by the general public, the constant comparison that mental health is equated to drug addiction, or somehow the individual is responsible for their mental health issues.

    As one in law enforcement, I serve the public in more ways than the obvious ways seen by the public. I watch people walk by homeless or those with Psych issues and avoid making any contact, answering hello or the like. Meanwhile, i deal with them daily. Even in my off-duty time, I can be in plain clothes, having a coffee, and of all the folks standing at the coffee house, some person with Psych issues or homeless will approach me and we start talking. In all honesty, I talk to them about anything they want to talk about. I could never figure out why this happens. My friends have called me the "Freak Magnet." I like to think of that these people's higher power guide them to me and say "go talk to him, he'll listen." I have managed to take angry ones and in a few words they are having a normal conversation.

    My best story was the time the man was going off why the dog ate the green banana. I told him, maybe the dog doesn't like yellow ones because they are too sweet. He looked at me and said "I never thought of it that way." As I tell folks, never apply rational thought to the non-rational thinking. I don't mean that in a disparaging way, purely, that you must listen, listen to their history, their truth, their logic and work with that.

    The truth is, Law Enforcement in this country ARE the first line of social services. We see this population daily and it's growing by leaps and bounds. Despite what so-called experts say, it IS on the rise and so is violent crime. We deal with a population the general public does not want to see, hear or deal with. This IS why we have the crisis we are in. We have watched for decades as this population was put in jails & prisons instead of proper treatment facilities; scoop off the street as the public will be happy. It is the public making the calls to remove them after all; not on my sidewalk.

    All the news people, politicians, officials and experts can make all sorts of analysis, but it doesn't put them in our shoes, see it, living in it for years. We are the eyes and ears on the ground and we have our own administrations skewing stats, numbers, etc. for the sake of running for office or funding, or the like. Such examples include Probation departments who claim a Probation Violation is NOT recidivism because the person was already adjudicated on a previous matter. They miss the point, the new charge was dropped in lieu of probation violation because there was supportive evidence of the new crime. Looks good on stats when you say the recidivism rate is 25% because you don't tally such violations.

    We are all responsible for the mental health crisis today. The public wants them off the streets, put in jail, but don't build the jail in my neighborhood. Politicians act on the demands of the public in order to get elected. Department heads and leaders skew the stats to make it appear crime is down, there are no real issues.

    All this said, what happened in Maryland; no surprise at all. We have agencies who watered down a man's personnel/medical file for a myriad of reasons; don't want to make waves, want to get him out easier without incident, certain declarations take more paperwork, etc.

    I see this in my industry constantly In CA, 40% of court criminal matter no longer make it to the State's DOJ Rap Sheets; directly related to failures by the courts to do so, and failure by the CA DOJ to create mandates. Yet, never makes the press. So what some may ask. I say, it's simple. A man is convicted of felony stalking of their ex. The conviction never gets on the rap sheet. The man's ex moves to another county or state; he follows. He is arrested again for stalking, again. How is a DA in other county/state suppose to know the individual has a previous conviction for stalking since there's no history? So, the DA in the 2nd matter gets a lighter sentence. This has been an issue in CA for 18 years. We have gone from 17% of convictions not appear on state rap sheet to 40%. I know, I'm in a specialized field and have worked with the DOJ on various projects and we discuss this regularly.

    How can you rely on the Feds. Heck, the FBI just launched its Palm Print Database about 2 years ago, 15 years after most states already had a database. The FBI has only about 5 million palm print cards vs. 73 million fingerprint cards. The agencies don't speak to each other and the systems of checks and balances truly don't exist. I've watch years of infighting with the state DOJ, Feds and other agencies to know it will never get the attention it needs.

    Well, I've gone on long enough. I just say, if those of us in the trenches were asked, you'd get the real answers, but again, per our Collective Bargaining Agreements, we are banned from speaking such things

    September 18, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply

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