WASHINGTON (WJZ)–From work place to killing ground. that was the grim aftermath of mass murder at the Washington Navy Yard two years ago.
Alex DeMetrick reports, today the scene of those killings re-opened to employees for the first time.
A dozen people were murdered here in a 2013 shooting rampage centered in a single building.
By the time help rushed to the Washington Navy Yard, the worst of the killing had already happened. Aaron Alexis, a civilian contractor, stalked the halls, offices and cafeteria of building 197, murdering 12 and wounding 4.
“We just looked at each other, panicked and ran out. Ran as fast as we could,” said one woman.
Alexis was killed by police and building 197 closed down until today.
It re-opened to employees for the first time since the murders, following a $6.5 million renovation that changed the floor plans layouts, erasing any sign of the attack.
“There will be those who have trouble getting beyond what happened, and we’re working with those folks,” said Bill Delign, the executive director of NAVSEA.
But the first 400 of nearly 3,000 employees who will work here, did come in when the doors opened.
“It’s wonderful to be back what I call home. It’s wonderful to be back here and see family.”
The last coming together was a memorial service last year on the anniversary of the attack. Now, the names of those who were murdered form a memorial wall in the building’s lobby–a sign of loss and recovery from that day two years ago.
“This is about our resiliency. healing. tribute and honor.”
This re-opening will be gradual and will in several weeks before all the displaced workers return.
The motive in the killings died with the gunman, who investigators later found had a history of mental health problems.