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Milwaukee’s new FBI leader responds to Navy Shipyard shooting

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The immediate threat is over in Washington, D.C., where on Monday, September 16th, a gunman shot and killed 12 people. On Tuesday, the investigation into how it all happened intensified, with the FBI taking over the case. One of the FBI investigators in D.C. just came to Milwaukee last week to head up Milwaukee's division of the FBI.

As investigators scoured military contractor Aaron Alexis' past for clues to what sparked his shooting rampage at Washington's Navy Yard, surviving victims healed and the nation paused to mourn its latest mass shooting.

News of the mass shooting incident in the nation's capital on Monday shocked Milwaukee's new FBI Special Agent in Charge, Christopher Combs.

"It's hard. It's hard because I know these police officers and agents that went in there and put their lives on the line. A number of police officers got injured in Washington," Combs said.

Combs just started his position in Milwaukee last week, after working in D.C. with the same unit now investigating the Navy Yard shooting.

"What you're seeing the FBI in Washington do, is really what the FBI would be doing anywhere in the country," Combs said.

Combs says the FBI offers resources and assistance in the investigation -- helping with hundreds of interviews to determine what happened and why.

"First and foremost is to figure out who the shooter is. Was that shooter acting alone or in concert with other people? Is it related to a counter terrorism mission or unfortunately what we're seeing more and more often is people who are mentally disturbed, and once we walk through that we always want to know why," Combs said.

To prevent situations like this, Combs says it is important citizens notify authorities with concerns about those they know who may be acting strangely or making violent comments.

In Washington, as it would be anywhere, this is when the FBI has much work to do.

"Now is the hard job -- to dissect what happened, what led him down that road, and again develop lessons learned that we can apply to other investigations before they start shooting," Combs said.

Next week, there will be an active shooter training effort near Eau Claire for Wisconsin law enforcement officials.

These types of coordinated training efforts with the FBI come as a response to the Newtown mass shooting.

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