The government shutdown that put hundreds of thousands of people out of work for 16 days and bruised the national economy has had another, less expected impact: It slowed the review of the Capitol Police response to the Sept. 16 mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.
The U.S. Capitol Police said Friday that the shutdown had delayed completion of a review into why a U.S. Capitol Police emergency response team just blocks from Navy Yard was told to stand down and return to the Capitol instead of responding.
That review had been due on Oct. 21.
The emergency response team -- which has experience and training for such incidents -- was at the scene and in contact with D.C. police the morning of the shooting, until they were ordered back to the Capitol Complex, according to USCP Fraternal Order of Police Labor Committee Chairman James Konczos.
Gunman Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at the Navy Yard before he was shot and killed by officers from D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Park Police.
The Capitol Police emergency team was "prepared to risk their lives to save the lives of the shooter’s victims but were prevented from doing so," Konczos said in a statement Sept. 23, adding that the decision demoralized and embarrassed officers throughout the department, not just those called away from the scene.
After the union claim, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine ordered the review. "I asked the Capitol Police Board to do an independent fact review of those allegations," Dine told News4.
He added that he had personally offered assistance to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier on the morning of the shooting.
The review is ongoing, Dine said in Friday's statement, and no new deadline was announced. The findings and recommendations of the review will be "made to the Capitol Police Board in the very near future," the statement reads.