Multiple sources are telling the BBC that a tactical response team ready to respond to Monday's deadly shooting in Washington, D.C. was ordered to stand down by superiors. The heavily armed team was reportedly one of the first available to aid municipal officers on the scene.
The gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, went on to kill 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
UNKNOWN, UNSPECIFIED - SEPTEMBER 16: In this handout photo provided by the FBI, Aaron Alexis is shown in a photo prior to the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Getty Images
The Capitol Police Department is reportedly pulling radio logs from Monday morning to investigate exactly what happened.
A Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC: "I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene."
The four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team, responsible for guarding the Capitol, were reportedly "wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons" when they showed up near the active-shooter situation.
Police conduct an investigation into a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, September 16, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
The BBC has more on what allegedly occurred:
According to a Capitol Police source, 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 the site equipped with long guns and requested their assistance in searching for the gunman.
When the Capitol Police team radioed in to their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
"It's a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave...it crushes me if that's the case," Senate Sergeant-at Arms Terry Gainer said.
However, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police also told the BBC that the allegations of a stand down order are "not true."
(H/T: Atlantic Wire)