Police cars sit parked at the entrance to the Washington Navy Yard September 17, 2013 in Washington, DC (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- WUSA9 has learned that a Capitol Police tactical team was prepared to enter the Navy Yard to stop Aaron Alexis -- and was ordered back to the Capitol by a watch commander.
The team was in contact with Metropolitan Police, who were pleading for help, but was turned around by a Capitol Police inspector.
Two MPD officers went in without the team, and one of the officers was shot.
The Capitol Police Board has now launched an independent investigation following our story. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine released a statement: "
Capitol Police just issued a statement saying: "I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of 12 innocent lives after the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday. Since the events transpired, numerous media outlets have raised questions specifically about the USCP's response. I take our response to this tragedy and our support to law enforcement partners very seriously. While I am the Chief of Police, at my core I am a police officer who feels strongly about our shared commitment and responsibilities. Because of the concerns that have been raised, and my strongly held beliefs, I have asked the Capitol Police Board to lead an independent fact review of our response, specifically our mutual aid efforts."
Members of the team are furious. They are convinced they could have saved lives.
The Capitol Police CERT team is based just a few blocks from the Navy Yard. A law enforcement source says they were less than 30 seconds from the gate when the initial call went out for an active shooter.
One angry officer tells WUSA9 that the Capitol Police chief calls them "America's Police Force." But he says the watch commander "wouldn't let them go in and stop people from being slaughtered."