Report: SWAT told to 'stand down' at Navy Yard shooting

The Capitol Police department is reviewing an allegation that 4 heavily armed tactical officers were told not to help


By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Capitol Police department has launched a review after allegations surfaced that a supervisor ordered a tactical response team to leave the scene of the shooting that left 12 victims and the gunman dead, rather than assist municipal officers.

"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 told BBC.

Four heavily-armed members of the Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT) were nearby when the initial report of an active shooter was announced, sources told BBC.

An officer with the Metropolitan Police Department told the tactical officers, who were wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 weapons, that they were the only officers on the scene with long guns and their help was needed to stop Aaron Alexis.

When the CERT team radioed their superiors, they were told to leave the scene, according to the report.

Capitol Hill Police chief Kim Dine has ordered "a comprehensive, independent review of the facts surrounding the Capitol Police's response to the Navy Yard shootings".

"It's a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave," said Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, who oversees the Capitol Police department. "It crushes me if that's the case."

Alexis was armed with a shotgun and a pistol he took from a guard he had shot when he fired at workers from a balcony Monday morning. He was reported dead at 9:00 AM following a shootout with police. 

  1. Tags
  2. SWAT
  3. Investigations
  4. Mass Casualty Incidents
  5. Mass Emergency Response

Recommended Terrorism Prevention and Response

Join the discussion