CNN’s Piers Morgan began his program Monday claiming that Aaron Alexis, the alleged shooter at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard, entered the facility "armed with an AR-15, another rifle, and a semi-automatic Glock."
But this is currently under dispute with some believing Alexis initially possessed only a shotgun and that the other weapons he took from fallen security officials inside the facility (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After giving the shooter’s name and some preliminary background, Morgan said, “Law enforcement says he was armed with an AR-15, another rifle, and a semi-automatic Glock. They believed he used the AR-15 for most if not all of the shooting. That gun was legally purchased.”
A few minutes later during an interview with an eyewitness, Morgan said, “It is actually a place that is very-heavily guarded by people who have guns. This man appears to have got inside with his own identity. He had clearance to do so. But he was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, another rifle, and a handgun. Would somebody carrying weapons in the way that he was immediately ring alarm bells inside the base?”
Morgan made this claim several times during the program. However, how many guns Alexis actually brought into the facility is still in question.
The website of NBC’s Washington, D.C. affiliate reports:
Sources told News4 that surveillance footage showed that he began his attack with a shotgun, but was found with a 9mm pistol and an AR-15 assault rifle.
NBC News correspondent Pete Williams is reporting Alexis purchased a shotgun in Lorton, Va. during the past week or so.
Alexis appears to have seized firearms from two of his victims as he moved through the building along the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, where 3,000 Navy employees go to work each day, many of them carrying authorized firearms.
As such, there is speculation that Alexis entered only with a shotgun, and that he took the AR-15 and the Glock from armed security officials inside the Yard.
With this in mind, until law enforcement determines exactly what Alexis brought into the facility, it is totally irresponsible of Morgan to claim the assailant possessed three guns from the start.
I personally alerted Morgan of the reports speculating Alexis entered only with a shotgun via Twitter and asked him if that would change his view concerning this event.
He didn't respond on Twitter, but his actions on his program suggest his answer is "No."
I guess he wouldn't want to let facts get in the way of his agenda.
Sadly, there's a lot of that going around in his industry these days.
*****Update: Morgan continued with his questionable claims throughout the program including saying that the AR-15 was recently purchased in Virginia. That appears not to be the case, and instead that Alexis purchased the shotgun in Virginia.
He packed an assault rifle and two other firearms during his lethal rampage — including a shotgun purchased just weeks ago at a Virginia gun shop, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.
The officials also said Alexis obtained the assault rifle used in the shooting from a gun safe on the naval base. There’s where he may have also obtained a handgun, according to authorities.
One official who spoke to NBC News, however, cautioned there are still outstanding questions about where and how Alexis acquired the weapons used in the massacre.
So it now appears Alexis got the AR-15 from a gun safe at the base.
If this proves to be true, will Morgan issue a correction?
Don't hold your breath.