The FBI said there is no indication that an AR-15 was used in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, despite wide initial reports that gunman Aaron Alexis was armed with one when he murdered 12 people Monday.
“At this time we believe that Mr. Alexis entered Building 197 at the Navy Yard with a shotgun. We do not have any information at this time that he had an AR-15 in his possession,” Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said at a news conference Tuesday. Officials said Alexis also took at least one handgun from a law officer.
The FBI’s confirmation came after CNN reported Tuesday morning that the initial reports that the shooter used an AR-15 may have been incorrect:
[F]ederal law enforcement sources told CNN Tuesday that authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one — a shotgun — that investigators believe Alexis brought in to the compound. The other two weapons, which sources say were handguns, may have been taken from guards at the Navy complex.
The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial information that an AR-15 was used in the shootings may have been incorrect. It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday morning’s shootings. Authorities are still investigating precisely how many weapons Alexis had access to and when.
The New York Daily News devoted its front page Tuesday to the supposed use of an AR-15, with the blaring headline “Same Gun Different Slay”:
Image source: New York Daily News
Calls for bans on AR-15s skyrocketed after the mass slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut and an Aurora, Colo. movie theater last year. A new ban on “assault weapons” proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) specifically named AR-15-style rifles but was never brought up for a vote.
Update: Media Mistake Solved: