Navy Yard to resume operations Thursday

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Their faces are mostly somber. Many of the 15,000 who work at the Navy Yard are trudging up M Street, returning to the base only to retrieve cars left behind during the evacuation

The base commander says Wednesday is a day of healing and transition. On Thursday, he hopes to begin the return to normal operations.

“People here have been absolutely fabulous and morale is high and everyone continue to work to the mission,” says Capt. Monte Ulmer, Navy Yard Commander.

They will not be returning to Building 197 just yet. That is a still an FBI crime scene. The investigation is now focusing more and more on the deteriorating mental health of gunman Aaron Alexis.

It’s being reported that the man who murdered 12 people Monday had been complaining of hearing voices and told police he was being followed.

The Washington Post reports he'd carved two strange phrases into the shotgun he used in his massacre: "Better off this way" and "My ELF weapon."

Concern continues to grow about how a seemingly troubled Alexis kept his security clearance. The Department of Defense is promising a full investigation into how the red flags were missed. And Wednesday, members of the Navy Yard Police Department are claiming that budget cuts contributed to the death toll.

“At the minimum, we should have 11 people at the Navy Yard to stand post. We only had six,” says Chairman Anthony Meely of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington.

Meely says they were manning gates and only the Navy Yard chief and a major were available to respond to the shooting.

“If we had adequate amount of officers we believe we could have entered that building and we could have engaged that individual,” Meely says.