Navy Yard Shooting Update: Wounded victims "very worried about their colleagues," hospital official says

Aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard in 1985. The Forest Sherman class destroyer ex-USS BARRY (DD 933) is visible, center.
Wikimedia Commons
Dr. Janis M. Orlowski, chief operating officer at Washington Hospital Center speaks at a news conference in Washington, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, about the conditions of the people who were brought to the hospital from the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard building.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

(CBS) Victims who were wounded in a shooting that left 13 dead including the suspected gunman at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning were asking about their colleagues as they were treated, an official at the Washington Hospital Center said.

PICTURES: Washington Navy Yard shooting

Two of the victims, both women believed to be civilian, worked at the Navy Yard, Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

"The most common question I've heard from them is how their colleagues are doing, they have specific concerns about how certain individuals are doing," Orlowski said. "They're very worried about their colleagues."

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Washington mayor Vincent Gray confirmed the number of dead has risen to 13 after a victim died at a hospital. The number includes the suspected shooter, who has been identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas.

The shooting was reported around 8:20 a.m. Gray said at least a dozen others were injured during the shooting, though some of them may have suffered injuries other than gunshot wounds.

"My heart...goes out to the families, those who have been victimized," Gray said. "They left home to work this morning thinking they were going to work on behalf of our nation, on behalf of the Navy, only to have something horrific like this occur."

Three victims are being treated at the Washington Hospital Center, Orlowski said - a male Metropolitan Police officer with gunshot wounds to both of his legs, a woman with gunshot wounds to her hands and head, and another woman with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. All three were alert and talking with hospital staff when they arrived for treatment, Orlowski said. The police officer and the woman with the shoulder injury were both undergoing surgery Monday afternoon. The third woman didn't require surgery because the bullets didn't penetrate bone, Orlowski said.

Orlowski said all three were expected to recover, though there was some concern about whether the wounds would affect the police officer's ability to walk, she said.

She described the woman with the shoulder injury as "in very good spirits."

"She was actually ordering doctors and nurses around, and we told her we were in charge, joking about how she was doing," Orlowski said.

One of the victims was reunited with her father at the Navy Yard as she was reciving medcal treatement, Orlowski said.

Orlowski said the hospital didn't discuss details about the shooting with the victims because they were receiveing conflicting reports about the number of dead and wounded at the time the victims entered surgery.

"We have not shared that with them," Orlowski said, when asked whether the patients had been informed that some of their colleagues were killed.

This is a horrific incident for them," Orlowski said. "If they want to talk we talk with them, but we don't bring up."

At a press conference, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said two other possible suspects who could be involved in the shooting are still at large, men she said were seen with weapons wearing military-style uniforms.

Following the press conference, however, the Metropolitan Police Department tweeted that one of the men had been located and cleared as a suspect or person of interest. He had initially been described by Lanier as a white man in a tan military-style outfit, apparently carrying a handgun.

Police are still searching for a second possible suspect, whom Lanier described as a black male, between 40 and 50 years old in an olive military-style uniform, about five feet, ten inches tall and 180 pounds. The man had gray sideburns, Lanier said. Earlier, she said he may have been armed with a long gun.

An active search is continuing and could span several hours, Lanier said. She urged residents around the Navy Yard to stay clear of the scene.

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for's Crimesider.