Today, before delivering remarks on the economy, President Obama gave a brief statement about the tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard.
“We still don’t know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot, and some have been killed,” he said. “So we are confronting yet another mass shooting -- and today, it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital.”
It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad -- but today, they faced unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home.
So we offer our gratitude to the Navy and local law enforcement, federal authorities, and the doctors who’ve responded with skill and bravery. I’ve made it clear to my team that I want the investigation to be seamless, so that federal and local authorities are working together. And as this investigation moves forward, we will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.
In the meantime, we send our thoughts and prayers to all at the Navy Yard who’ve been touched by this tragedy. We thank them for their service. We stand with the families of those who’ve been harmed. They’re going to need our love and support. And as we learn more about the courageous Americans who died today -- their lives, their families, their patriotism -- we will honor their service to the nation they helped to make great. And obviously, we're going to be investigating thoroughly what happened, as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened, and do everything that we can to try to prevent them.
President Obama also called Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to express his condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims of today’s mass shooting and ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on September 20.