WASHINGTON (WJLA) - There were fears, a lot of tears and high anxiety as family members of employees at the Navy Yard rushed to the family staging center police set up at Nats Park.
Some hadn't heard from their loved ones inside the Navy Yard since shortly after the shooting Monday morning. Some had heard nothing at all.
“Every time I've called him today, it just hit voice mail and I am shook up,” says Jacqueline Alston.
Bob Smith rushed to the area from his home in Woodbridge after having a brief conversation with his wife. She worked on the fourth floor of building 197.
She told him he saw the man with the gun.
“She ducked into her bosses' office and she said she saw the shooter,” he says. “When I talked with her the second time, she said he was relocating.”
Megan Fletcher was among the many that had to wait for hours. Her husband Steve was working in the Navy Yard just down the hall. She wasn't able to reach him until hours after the shooting.
“It was the worst morning imaginable,” she says. “I just want to find him, give him a hug, tell him I love and take him home.”
When Fletcher finally found him, she held her husband's hand tightly and said, as they walked to their car, “I'm just glad this day is over.”
Later on Monday evening, tears of joy met sobs of relief as Tresina Steger-Smith reunited with her husband William after spending the entire day locked down inside a Navy Yard office building.
It was a touching reunion for the newlyweds after hours of fearing the worst.
Meanwhile, Richard Wallace knew he was safe when he finally reached the barracks, but his thoughts could only turn to his co-workers who did not make it out.
"These are our family, these are our family members we work with every day," he said. "Tomorrow is going to be a hard day."
Throughout the afternoon and evening, busloads of Navy Yard workers arrived at Nationals Park, emotional and shaken by the horror of the day. But they were also relieved, finally knowing that they were safe and able to find their loved ones to go home.