I work at the Washington Navy Yard. I work across the street from Building 197 where the horrific mass gun murder took place.
Yesterday, I got to work at about 0620--my usual time. My office is located less than 100 yards away from the atrium where most of the gun murders took place. We had our daily staff meeting at 0730; one hot button issue and a minor one. So, I began chasing down the way forward for the major issue. At about 0820, the fire alarm began to sound. Fire alarms are not necessarily an unusual thing at the Navy Yard; the Yard is an older facility and workman are always renovating or repairing something and most alarms are accidentally set off by workman. We'll usually get an announcement shortly after to disregard the alarm.
Yesterday was no different but very much so.
After the initial alarm went off and announcement followed to disregard the alarm. But shortly after there was an announcement saying there had been a shooting on the fourth floor and that all personnel should seek shelter in an interior office. I wasn't overly concerned about my safety; I work in a restricted access area so most folks who have access elsewhere can't get in. We figured it was merely someone going postal on a boss.
I had to conduct emergency musters for people under my supervision and account for their whereabouts. I soon had accounted for all my folks. As time passed, the emails grew more ominous--the number of conformed killed rose from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 12. And we were told there were at least two, possibly three, shooters which implied this wasn't an incident involving a gun crazy having a bad hair day.
The emergency response was fast and overwhelming; virtually every law enforcement was represented in force. FBI, NCIS, Metropolitan and Capitol Hill Police, NDW Police, Navy MPs, Marine MPs--I'm sure there others. The small street separating my building from 197 was jammed with ERT vehicles, Tactical carriers, Ambulances, fire trucks. Overhead circled helicopters which were used to place snipers and ferry away victims.