FOX6 News speaks with MU alum blocks away from D.C. shooting

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITI) -- Monday, September 16th was an unsettling day for those who live and work near the Washington Navy Yard after FBI officials say 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a military contractor from Texas gunned down at least 12. Alexis was also killed in the incident, and about a dozen others were injured. Government buildings were placed on lockdown and police SWAT teams raced to the scene.

FOX6 News on Monday afternoon spoke with a Marquette University alumnus who now calls the nation's capital home.

Both Marquette and UW-Milwaukee have alumni chapters in Washington, D.C.

Marquette graduate Otto Heck says he first heard about the rampage from a friend.

"I received a text message from a buddy of mine over at the Navy Yard telling me he was safe from the incident, no idea what was going on. I flipped on the news and saw the streaming news on every channel about the shooting," Heck said.

Heck, who is the president of the MU Alumni Chapter in Washington, D.C. says his office is only a few blocks from the shooting scene.

"Being so close to the shooting with our office, our street was locked down, several apartment buildings, even up to 10 blocks away were on lockdown," Heck said.

Heck has since reached out to friends, including his fellow Marquette alumni in Washington. He figured he would be in touch with Milwaukee friends this week, but for a far different reason.

"The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce is going to be having their annual 'Milwaukee Night on Capitol Hill' and we're also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Marquette's Les Aspin Center this week so it's going to be a big for us here for the Milwaukee and Marquette community in Washington D.C.," Heck said.

Heck spent most of the day Monday reaching out to friends -- making sure they weren't at the Navy Yard on Monday morning.

"For the moment being, I haven't heard from anyone that was on site for it. Certainly our thoughts, the Marquette family's thoughts and prayers are with those affected with this incident," Heck said.

The violence started unfolding at 8:20 a.m. Monday, when several shots were fired inside the southeast Washington facility.

Obama called the shooting a "cowardly act" that targeted military and civilians serving their country.

"They know the dangers of serving abroad," he said, "but today they faced the unimaginable violence that we wouldn't have expected here at home."