Second police officer was shot at Navy Yard during attack, Lanier says

Photo: Associated Press

(WJLA) - A second police officer who responded to the Sept. 16 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard was shot twice during the attack, but was saved by his bulletproof vest.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier revealed the second officer's injuries during an appearance on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on Tuesday morning.

She said that the officer, whom she declined to identify, took two bullet rounds to the chest.

"We are extremely lucky that we didn't lose a police officer in there," Lanier said.

The other officer who was shot, Scott Williams, remains hospitalized and is recovering at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was shot in the legs during the attack, during which Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people.

Alexis himself was killed during the attack.

Lanier said that she expects the department to release more facts and information about her agency's response to the mass shooting in due time.

"Going back over the past several days and listening to audio recordings, looking at video and really doing a much deeper dive, I'm even more satisfied that the officers really rose to the occasion," Lanier said.

Chief Lanier said more information, more images and a timeline of events will be released in the next few days.

She also said the new details will showcase what officers were up against during the chaotic attack. Lanier says some questions surrounding the incident will take longer to answer.

New details emerge

It was revealed that Alexis lied about a past arrest and financial problem as he was being investigated for a security clearance. In addition, federal investigators deleted any record that Alexis fired a gun during a parking dispute in Seattle. Such gaps in the record eventually allowed Alexis into the secure building where he murdered 12 people last week. and so the navy has announced some changes.

Now background checks will include all police documents, not just arrests and senior officers will be given more responsibility for security and sailor evaluations.

Bill Savarino is a lawyer specializing in clearance issues. He says the system can use such improvement.

“Because OPM's reports are often done very quickly,” he says. “They're often done weeks after interviews take place and they're not always accurate in this instance the inaccuracy was omission of important information for the government.”

Around the navy yard workers say the need for change is tragically obvious.

“Well they should have been doing it from the get go,” says Navy Yard worker Marcus Farrell. “I always assumed they did.”