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The streets surrounding the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters felt eerily normal today—-just more than 24 hours after a deadly shooting rampage in the federal building left 12 victims, and the shooter, dead.
The line at the closest Starbucks was 10 people deep, and workers enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather during lunch in nearby Canal Park.
There were dozens of crossing guards along M Street SE, the street that the naval building is on, but they were there to direct fans to the Nationals’ game on the same street. A Metro police officer stationed next to large group of reporters—-although the crowd was tiny in comparison to Monday’s massive mob of journalists—-said there were only a few extra cops in the area Tuesday.
The main entrance to the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, however, was guarded by two police cars with their sirens on and a variety of officers from local and federal agencies. Only essential personnel were allowed into the building, which will likely remain in a deserted state until the FBI finishes its investigation.
M Street SE, in contrast, was all about the Nationals’ double-header against the Atlanta Braves. (Last night’s game was moved to today because of the shooting.)
Cedric Griffin was selling Nats souvenirs from a tent, and said business was slower than normal, but that was expected because the game was in the middle of the day. “Unfortunately,” Griffin said of the shooting, “life goes on.”
Mekara Taigne had tickets to last night’s canceled game, and says she didn’t think twice about attending the game in the aftermath of the shooting. “If you stop doing the things you love,” she said. “That’s what they want, is to disrupt things.”
A police officer stationed outside of the main entrance of the stadium, where he said there’s always a police officer on game days, said everything was pretty much business as usual, except for one thing: When the national anthem starting playing inside the stadium, the street came to a halt.
Photo by Perry Stein