The White House canceled a Latin music event tonight, but Michelle Obama went ahead with the Musica Latina Workshop for kids in the State Dining Room late Monday morning.
President Obama mentioned the shooting at the top of his choreographed event lauding administration economic achievements five years into the financial crisis.
“We are confronting yet another mass shooting — and today, it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital,” Obama said. “…I’ve made it clear to my team that I want the investigation to be seamless, so that federal and local authorities are working together. And as this investigation moves forward, we will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.”
Obama ordered flags lowered to half-staff and held calls over the day with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and FBI Director James Comey.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that he was receiving regular updates on the shooting. ”This is a tragic day for the Department of Defense, the national capital area, and the nation,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this outrageous act of violence, their families, and all those affected by today’s events.”
“I am grateful for the swift response of federal and local law enforcement, and for the professionalism of DoD personnel at the Navy Yard complex,” Hagel added. “The Department of Defense will continue to offer its full assistance in the investigation of this terrible and senseless violence.”
The Department of Homeland Security, which has been without a director since Janet Napolitano left last month, was mum on the shooting.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said members “just want to make sure that all the leads are properly followed.”
“It is reminiscent to me — not to far from my city — home city of Austin, where Fort Hood occurred. It is very reminiscent of that day. And I just — I pray that it doesn’t extend anything towards a terrorism tie,” McCaul said on Fox. “…We just don’t have any answers at this point in time.”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) referenced Fort Hood in their joint statement on today’s “heartbreaking attack.”
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve seen such a tragedy befall the patriotic personnel working at a U.S. Military installation. There is nothing more cowardly than targeting innocents, and we have full faith in military and law enforcement officials to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the committee leaders said. “We send our thoughts and prayers out to the victims and their families.”