- - Monday, September 16, 2013

A Navy commander in the Navy Yard building when a deadly shooting broke out recalled Monday how a fellow military officer standing next to him was shot in the head as the two tried to escape.

In an interview with the local D.C. Fox affiliate, Cmdr. Tim Juris said he had been on the fourth floor of the Navy Yard’s Building 197 when he heard a series of muffled shots. As a fire alarm sounded, he joined a group fleeing to an alley behind the building to get away from the shooter.

“I was talking to another man there” about what happened, “and then he was shot,” the commander said, saying he quickly moved away from the alley and climbed a fence to safety. Cmdr. Juris said the man was shot in the head and he said it was unlikely that the victim could have survived. He added he never saw the shooter.

Asked if he felt fortunate to survive, the commander told Fox News, “Well, I certainly don’t want to go through that again.”

Navy Yard worker Rick Mason said he heard gunfire, and said a co-worker spotted a gunman on a fourth-floor interior balcony “standing there with a shotgun … peering over the overlook down to the first floor area and shooting people as they were walking around the cafeteria.”

“One of the managers came out and shouted for people to start leaving the building,” Mr. Mason said on MSNBC. “So I immediately got up and along with some other coworkers, we all just evacuated the building through one of the stairwells.”

He said Navy Yard employees practice emergency evacuation drills several times a year.

“Amidst the excitement and confusion and the fear, people still knew what to do and what was expected,” Mr. Mason said.

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