While police helicopters circled overhead and investigators tried to make sense of Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, family and friends gathered at one of the covered parking lots at Nationals Park, where police had set up a reunion site for Navy Yard workers.
Yellow police tape marked off the intersection of N and Half streets Southeast, and carts of water and soda were wheeled into the waiting area.
By 2:30 p.m., only a handful of military personnel had been dropped off by an out-of-service Metro bus. They declined to comment.
Fighting back tears, Jacqueline Alston, 63, said her husband, Ernest Johnson, had not contacted her since the shooting. He is a custodian who works on the fourth floor of Building 197, the site of the shooting, she said.
"I'm numb," she said. "I've been talking and I'm worried."
Falls Church resident Patricia Herrity said she had not spoken with her mother, Mary Rodgers, but her mother's co-worker had called to say the two of them were OK.
"I'm hoping, I'm pretty confident," said Ms. Herrity when asked whether she was comforted by the phone call. "I found out she was OK before I saw the news."
Ms. Alston was also attempting to keep up a positive attitude about her husband.
"I'm not worried, just being patient," she said. " I want to tell him 'Come on baby, come on home.'"
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