1. The Navy Yard shooter used an AR-15.
Early news reports typically attributed to “law enforcement sources” claimed that Aaron Alexis shot his way into the Navy Yard armed with an AR-15, shotgun or second rifle, and a pistol. Other news reports asserted that he obtained an AR-15 from an open gun safe, or police officers and security guards that he may have ambushed inside Building 197.
Alexis is only confirmed to have used a Remington 870 shotgun at this time, but his body was recovered with at least one handgun nearby, thought to have been taken from a security guard.
The FBI states that there is no evidence Alexis used an AR-15 in the attack.
2. The shooter attempted to purchase an AR-15, but was denied.
Aaron Alexis purchased a Remington 870 shotgun at a Newington, VA gun store with an adjoining range called Sharpshooters.
He rented an AR-15 on the firing line at the gun range. He never left the firing range with it, and never attempted to purchase one according to the store’s attorney. The transaction was recorded on videotape.
3. There was more than one shooter.
Early news reports asserted that there may be as many as three total shooters. Washington Metro Police and the FBI were basing that assessment based on a combination of video surveillance and confusing eyewitness testimony.
After Alexis was killed, it took several hours for law enforcement to identify and interview the two other men, and rule them out as suspects.
4. The shooter targeted whites.
One of the very first witnesses interviewed was Todd Brundidge, an African-American male Alexis fired upon without warning. Among the fatalities were two African-Americans and a man of southwest Asian descent. At least one of the injured is an African-American female. All known survivor testimony indicate that Alexis was shooting indiscriminately at targets of opportunity.
5. The shooter was an Obama supporter.
There is no indication that Alexis voted in any elections since 2000, and there have been no indications he was particularly interested in politics.
6. The shooter was able to breach security because of sequestration.
The security of the door on Building 197 used by the shooter was unaffected by sequestration, in terms of staffing, equipment, or procedures. He used his own valid work identification to enter the building, and employees with identification are not routinely screened for weapons.
7. The shooter attacked a heavily-defended military base.
Weapons and ammunition on military bases are tightly controlled, and are locked in armories when not in use. Only security personal, law enforcement officers, and other authorized are allowed to carry weapons on base. As a practical matter, military bases are largely “gun free zones.”
8. This attack proves that the NRA’s adage, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is false.
This statement is predicated on the fact that an armed security guard was among the first victims, if not the first victim. What they leave out is that Alexis did not enter Building 197 with an assembled weapon, but apparently re-assembled the shotgun in a bathroom before ambushing the security guard and taking his handgun. In the end, armed police officers with firearms engaged Alexis at close quarters, leading to his death.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA Vice President who made this statement after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, was once again proven sadly correct.