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. The Capitol Police tactical response team was told by a supervisor to leave the scene instead of aiding municipal officers, sources told the BBC.I'm not alleging any crazy conspiracy theory here; I rather suspect it's a bureaucratic issue, and possibly a turf fight within the D.C. police.
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.
However it happened, it was a stupid move. These are precisely the situations that SWAT teams were originally designed to handle, their secondary function as a group to break down doors at drug raids etc. for the purpose of shock and awe evolved later, because it seemed a shame to have such training get so little use.