U.S. DOJ: Officers who killed Aaron Alexis during Navy Yard shooting not culpable
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Investigators into the Sept. 16, 2013 mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard said they have concluded their investigation into the fatal shooting of suspect Aaron Alexis.
Spokespersons for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday, just weeks before the anniversary of the tragic incident, that no charges will be filed against the officers that shot at and killed Alexis, who is accused of killing 12 people and wounding four others.
Officials said the decision was made after reviewing a wealth of information including witness statements; surveillance video; photographs; diagrams; physical evidence; law enforcement agency reports from the FBI, Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Park Police, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); and the autopsy report on Alexis.
The report indicated that none of the officers who fired on Alexis possessed any criminal intent when they shot him.
"To the contrary, the review determined that there is more than sufficient evidence to conclude that, under all of the prevailing circumstances at the time of the shooting, the officers were acting in defense of themselves and others," the report read. "The review determined that the officers acted reasonably at all times to neutralize a life-threatening situation."
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. added that the officers who responded to the incident "demonstrated exceptional valor in acting to protect the lives of Navy Yard employees and other responding law enforcement officers.”
Alexis was a 34-year-old military contractor for the Department of Defense at the time of the incident.
Just after 8 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2013, he entered Building 197, which is on the west side of the Navy Yard complex in Southeast Washington. Within the next 15 minutes Alexis, who was armed with a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun, began an attack that caused the deaths of 12 civilians, as well as non-fatal injuries to three civilians and one D.C. police officer.