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NEWS STORIES

NEW INFORMATION: 13 dead, shooting suspect discharged from Navy for misconductSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Newswatch 12 News Team, NBC News and Associated Press

Photos By NBC News

WASHINGTON - NEW INFORMATION:
We now know 13 people died today after a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. They are all believed to be civilians or contractors. About half of the families have been notified as of this evening.

We've learned the shooter was discharged from the Navy for misconduct. He was working as a contractor for the Navy-- which answers the question of how he got in the Naval Yard.

But the FBI is still investigating what weapons he used, and how he got them in.

Police also said they are no longer looking for any other suspects in the shooting. They do not believe there is any further danger to the public from today's events.

EARLIER TODAY:
A man brandishing an assault rifle, shotgun and handgun opened fire Monday inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard. The city police chief said 12 people were killed.

SWAT officers swarmed the building, the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command, and a shooter there was killed, sources told NBC News. Law enforcement officials identified the gunman to NBC News as Aaron Alexis, 34, originally of Fort Worth, Texas. They said he recently began working as a civilian contractor.

Chief Cathy Lanier said at mid-afternoon that as many as two other suspects could be at large, both seen with firearms and wearing military-style uniforms. Minutes later, police said on Twitter that one of the two had been identified and was not a suspect or person of interest.

The rampage was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December, and the worst at a military installation since 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

The number of injured was not clear, but some reports placed it as high as 16.

President Barack Obama called it a "cowardly act." He said the rampage targeted patriots, military and civilian alike, "men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us."

The Navy said the first shots were fired at 8:20 a.m. ET at the Sea Systems Command headquarters. Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, said she had just gotten breakfast in the cafeteria when she heard "three gunshots, pow-pow-pow, straight in a row."

"All of the people that were in the cafeteria, we all panicked, and we were trying to decide which way we were going to run out," she said. "I just ran."

The roughly 3,000 people who work there were told to stay in place. For the next several hours, conflicting reports circulated about whether the shooter was still alive, whether he had accomplices, how many places were active shooting scenes, and how many people were dead and injured.

In the meantime, chaos enveloped the surrounding neighborhood. Flights were briefly grounded at Reagan National Airport. Nearby schools and bridges the headquarters of the Department of Transportation were locked down. Farther away, police stepped up security on the Capitol grounds.

Many of the details were still uncertain at midafternoon. Hours after the shootings, the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate said he had recommended a "shelter-in-place" order to Senate leaders.

Terrie Durham, who works at the Naval Sea Systems Command building, said she saw a gunman who appeared to be wearing dark fatigues. Another worker there, Todd Brundidge, said he heard a fire alarm go off, and later saw the gunman come around the corner.

"He turned our way and started firing, and we ran downstairs to get out of the building," Brundidge said. "No words. He raised the gun and started firing."

A naval security guard was among those shot and was hit in both legs, U.S. military officials said. Washington city police told WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington, that one of their officers was also among those shot. It was not clear how many of the others shot were civilian and how many were military.

Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, posted photos to his Twitter account of people tending to at least one person down on a street corner.

Washington police issued lookouts for two people they described as suspects a 50-year-old black man with a rifle, wearing an olive drab military uniform, and a white man with a pistol, wearing a short-sleeved, tan uniform and a beret. They later said that the man in the tan outfit was not a suspect.

Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said that the hospital was treating three gunshot victims a woman hit in the head and hand, a woman hit in the shoulder and a man hit in the legs.

She said that the victims came in alert and talking.

"They're talking about gunshots that they heard in rapid succession," she said.

George Washington University Hospital said it had one patient.

Obama, speaking at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis, turned to the shooting and said: "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," he said. "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 the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home."

The Naval Sea Systems Command builds, buys and maintains ships and submarines and their combat systems. The Navy Yard is along the Anacostia River in Washington, near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. The Nationals postponed their game Monday night against the Atlanta Braves. The notation on the Nationals' website read, "Postponed: Tragedy."

Tracy Connor, Kasie Hunt, Michael O'Brien and Andrew Rafferty of NBC News contributed to this report.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/30/2015

- Find out how a local group is trying to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly population.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group wants to protect an endangered butterfly. The Monarch March works to save the beautiful monarch butterflies.

The butterfly is in danger because people remove milkweed from their yards. Milkweed is also removed from public ground spaces as well.

Monarchs need milkweed for food and a place to lay their eggs.

"That's the problem with the monarch; it only survives on milkweed," said Paula Larson, founder of Monarch March. "So every time you cut down milkweed, every time the highway mows down all the milkweed on the sides of the roads, they are killing hundreds of caterpillars."

A major part of the work done by Monarch March is to collect eggs and raise them until they become butterflies. The process takes about four to five weeks.

Leaders of the group believe everyone can do simple things to protect the butterflies.

"Do not cut down milkweed; plant milkweed. It's really good for gardens to become a butterfly habitat," said Larson.

The new butterflies should hatch in about two weeks. An exhibit with the caterpillars can be seen at Curran Professional Park in Rhinelander.

For more information, check out Monarch March on Facebook.

+ Read More

MADISON - Republican state senators are met behind closed doors Tuesday to talk about the three main issues that have held up passage of a Wisconsin state budget for the past month.

State Sen. Paul Farrow said Tuesday that senators planned to talk about roads funding, changes to the prevailing wage and the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks stadium plan.

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FERGUSON, MO - A Justice Department report summary has found across-the-board flaws in police's response last summer to the protests in Ferguson, including antagonizing crowds and violating free-speech rights.

The Associated Press obtained the summary, which cites "vague and arbitrary" orders to keep protesters moving that violated their rights of assembly and free speech.

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COLUMBUS, OH - A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg by an Ohio policeman firing at a dog is recovering after surgery as her family questions how the officer responded.

Columbus police say Ava Ellis was hit accidentally June 19 when an officer fired at a charging dog at a home in suburban Whitehall. Police say another relative had flagged down the officer for help after Ava's mother cut herself on glass.

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RHINELANDER - With July 4 just around the corner, many people plan their summer BBQs. As you head out to the yard or beach, there are a few precautions to keep in mind.

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