One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday’s shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/24153252 A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.
The Capitol Police department said senior officials were investigating.
Aaron Alexis, 34, allegedly killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
“I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene,” a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.
Armed with a shotgun and a pistol he took from a guard he had shot, Alexis sprayed bullets down a hallway and fired from a balcony down on to workers in an atrium.
He fired on police officers who eventually stormed the building, and was later killed in the shootout.
Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.
The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later.
When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was reported killed after 9:00.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, who oversees the Capitol Police department, confirmed operatives were pulling radio logs from Monday’s incident and interviewing the officers involved.
“It’s a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave,”
A Capitol Police officer who heard the Cert request over the radio to engage the gunman reported colleagues within the department felt frustrated they were told to stand down.