Local man next door to the building where Navy Yard shooting broke out

POSTED: 11:42 PM Sep 16 2013   UPDATED: 11:48 PM Sep 16 2013
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

At least 13 people, including the shooter, died during the Monday morning attack on the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. NewsChannel 12 learned that several Cherry Point workers were at the Navy Yard when the shootings started.

Anthony Bennett, of New Bern, is a Human Resource Specialist at Cherry Point. He said he and seven other co-workers from Cherry Point were in a training session at the Navy Yard when the shooting started in the building next to the one they were inside.  

"Right after we began class, we had somebody come by the class and tell us to get away from the windows because they had reports of a shooting in the building next door," he said.

Bennett said they tried to resume class, but were put on lockdown for more than nine hours.

"A lot of our fellow co-workers who work in that building were gracious enough to empty their desks and cupboards or anything they had snack-wise to get us through," he explained.

Anthony’s wife, Monique Bennett, made the trip to Washington with him, but she was at their hotel room just a few blocks from the Navy Yard entrance. She said she heard a lot of sirens early Monday morning but didn't think anything of it.

"I just assumed it was a typical Monday in Washington, D.C. but then turned my TV on and I realized there was something very serious going on," she said.

Anthony’s father, Beck Bennett of New Bern, said he received a message from his son around 8:30 Monday morning.

"My son sent me a text that they were hearing shots being fired next door and they were on lockdown and to please pray we'll be OK," he said.

Bennett said due to bad cell service in his son's building all he could do was text him to see if he was OK.

"I’m just relieved to know they weren't in direct line of fire," he said.

Anthony Bennett said you think you're at the safest place possible when you're on a military base.

"It's shocking that somebody would be able to have access to that type of motive and actually carry out something like this," he said.

Bennett said no one in his group was hurt or affected outside of the nine-hour wait, but it has put some things in perspective.

"My head is still spinning, but I’m excited to get home to New Bern and squeeze my babies,” he said.

Bennett said his classes have been cancelled for the rest of the week. He and his wife will return home to New Bern on Tuesday.