Nation's head military chaplain: After shooting, respect for life key

Washington — The shooting at Washington's Navy Yard Monday indicates a need for Americans to "restore the notion of respect for life," the U.S. bishop charged with overseeing the nation's Catholic military chaplains has said.

Issuing a statement as investigations into the shooting continued Monday afternoon, Archbishop Timothy Broglio said he had prayed for the victims of the attack at Mass and was "shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible loss of life."

"I have often visited and celebrated the Eucharist there," said Broglio, who is the archbishop for the military services. "It is a familiar place."

"Somehow we must restore the notion of respect for life into the fabric of the Nation," Broglio continued. "When the uniqueness of the human person created in the image and likeness of God is universally recognized, the possibility of a mass shooting is more remote."

Broglio's archdiocese, which was created by Pope John Paul II in 1985, has chaplains that serve at military bases across the country and are embedded with military personnel around the world. 

By mid-afternoon Monday authorities were still investigating the shooting at the Navy Yard, which is located just southeast of the U.S. Capitol complex in central Washington. While a five-hour lockdown at Navy Yard facilities had ended by about 3 p.m., other facilities, including U.S. Senate offices, were still closed as of 4:15.

In Twitter update, the Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. Senate said they had put the Senate offices in lockdown "out of an abundance of caution."

D.C. Mayor Vince Gray said in a press conference during the afternoon that authorities had confirmed 13 fatalities from the event and were still looking for one possible suspect.

Valerie Parlave, the director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, which is leading the investigation of the shootings, said at the conference that a "very active investigation" is still underway.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR national correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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