The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Sept. 25 released video of killer Aaron Alexis inside the Washington Navy Yard and the headquarters of the US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on the morning of Sept. 16, shortly before he began a shooting spree that ended with 12 NAVSEA employees dead and more wounded. ()
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Sept. 25 released video of killer Aaron Alexis inside the Washington Navy Yard and the headquarters of the US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on the morning of Sept. 16, shortly before he began a shooting spree that ended with 12 NAVSEA employees dead and more wounded.
At a press conference, the FBI released the video to media without consulting with or notifying the Navy they would do so. NAVSEA officials and employees were outraged.
Vice Adm. Willy Hilarides, NAVSEA’s commander, and spokeswoman Pat Dolan — both of whom were inside the building that morning as Alexis began shooting — commented on the video’s release Oct. 9 during an interview with Defense News.
Hilarides: They did not warn us and I wish they had, so it was bad. Now, the fact is there's a lot of video. That's all you're ever going to see, but there's a lot. And it's pretty bad.
So, yeah, I was mad, and a lot of people went backwards on their counseling. And if we'd given them a half a day's notice, it would have been better.
Q. But you had no warning - people just started seeing that on TV?
Hilarides: We started seeing it on TV. The e-mails started pouring in — Sir, how could you have exposed us to this?
Dolan: And it's the grieving process. You're getting people to a place —
Dolan: — and then that happened and it was like everybody took a step back.
Hilarides: Everybody did.
Dolan: Just from my own office, we had people who weren't onsite that day and had been doing pretty well with this. There's the guilt because you're not there, but they were doing pretty good with it.
Hilarides: Survivor's guilt, yeah.
Dolan: But then all of a sudden, one of my employees just went off the deep end the next day about the video. And I was like whoa, and we just talked. And they needed to talk, because he was so angry. Why did they do this? Why did they do this? And we don't have an answer for them. But you've got to let them talk through that anger and say we really don't have an explanation for you, but I understand you're angry. We all are. So, yeah, that's the setback that occurs, and you'll see those setbacks that people see something, remember something and all of a sudden, where you thought they were, they've taken two steps back. And that's grief.