Gunman Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at Monday’s rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. A report released Wednesday alleges that an armed and suited tactical rapid response team was in the area, but was ordered to stand down and return to Capitol Hill.
A Capitol Hill response team, responsible for protecting the Capitol complex, was in the area with full gear at the time of the shooting, but was called off the scene and not allowed to assist Washington police, according to the BBC.
“I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene,” a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.
However, Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said that reports that a Capitol Police Cert team was on scene and later stood down were “not true.”
The BBC reported:
Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.
The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.
The four-man Capitol Hill team was the only SWAT-type team immediately available in the vicinity, and for that reason, D.C.’s Metro Police Department requested their assistance to take down the gunman, according to BBC sources.
This directly contradicts an earlier report by Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider, who said its officers had “offered and provided mutual support and assistance at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.”
Capitol Police Officer Jim Konczos told the BBC the Cert police train for exactly this type of situation and are expert marksmen.
“Odds are it might have had a different outcome,” he said of Monday’s shooting. “It probably could have been neutralized.”