Members of a Washington DC Swat team who the BBC has learned were ordered not to respond to Monday’s Navy Yard shootings have yet to be contacted by the authorities. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24163244 The Capitol Police tactical response team was told by a supervisor to leave the scene instead of aiding municipal officers. The department has installed a new leader of the elite unit. No reason has been given for the decision. Four members of the highly trained team have applied for temporary leave.
Days after the shooting, none of the officers has been questioned by officials or investigators from a special panel that was convened on Wednesday.
Members of the Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) are typically debriefed “right away, at the very least the following day” after an incident, a Capitol Police source said.
“[They] haven’t even been given the courtesy of a debrief… They have not even been given an answer as to why the decision was made that they should not respond,” the source added.
Another Capitol Police source close to the incident told the BBC: “No-one’s talked to these officers since this happened.”
On Thursday, members of the tactical unit, which has several dozen members, were told that it had a new leader, a Capitol Police source said. It is not clear why the command shake-up occurred.
Four Cert team members wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons arrived on scene at Navy Yard at 08:36 (12:36 GMT) on Monday, after reports surfaced of an active gunman at the complex at 08:20.
According to sources, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC’s main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on site equipped with long guns, and requested their help stopping the gunman.
When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
On Thursday, FBI Director James B Comey Jr told ABC News it took roughly half an hour for armed police to arrive and engage Alexis. All 12 victims were killed within that time.
Capitol Police sources suggest “lives may have been saved” if the Cert team had been allowed to intervene.
On Wednesday, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine appointed a “Fact Review Team” to investigate the department’s response to the Navy Yard shootings. It will report back on 21 October.
But on Thursday sources questioned the efficacy of such a panel.