I thought the biggest scandal to come from the shooting today would be the fact that the Pentagon didn’t run a full background check on this guy when he was re-hired as a contractor in July. All they did, which is apparently standard practice, was check to make sure his security clearance from 2007 was still intact. No interviews with family members, co-workers, or employers; if there had been, maybe someone would have tipped them to the fact of his mental problems.

But no, that’s not the biggest scandal if this BBC report is right. This … can’t possibly be true, can it?

Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.

The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.

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 help stopping the gunman.

When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.

Alexis wasn’t finally taken down until shortly after 9 a.m., more than 40 minutes later. “Odds are it might have had a different outcome,” said the head of the Capitol Police officers’ union, noting that the “Cert” team guys are expert marksmen and trained for live-shooter situations. The Metropolitan PD says none of this is true, but the BBC claims to have multiple sources within Capitol PD corroborating it. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be allowed to go in and liquidate Alexis, unless it’s some sort of moronic jurisdictional issue in which the Capitol PD is expected to stick to the grounds of the Capitol itself. (The Senate’s sergeant-at-arms denied that when the BBC asked her.) To paraphrase the old gun-rights saying: When seconds count, the police are … seconds away, actually, but forced to stand by while a maniac picks unarmed people off with a shotgun. There’s another argument for concealed carry.

The 24-hour rule is in effect, but the Beeb must be confident if it was willing to drop a bombshell with this kind of payload.

Update: I’m loath to spend any more time on the degenerate responsible for the shooting but people are curious about the motive and there are a lot of breadcrumbs about that being shaken loose in the media today. Some friends say he was “not happy with America” and wanted to leave, some say that he was angry in part at being rejected last year by a woman in Thailand he was pursuing, but whatever it was appears to have been filtered through an increasingly incoherent mind:

Aaron Alexis carved bizarre phrases on the stock of his shotgun before he killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, and investigators are hoping the words provide clues to what prompted the shooting, two law enforcement officials said.

The phrases were “Better off this way” and “My ELF weapon,” according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Cops think “ELF” might have been a reference to “extremely low frequency,” which may or may not have something to do with disrupting the “vibrations” Alexis claims were being sent through his body by the imaginary people who were following him.

Anyone, enough about him. Here’s Tapper with a report on the victims of the shooting.