A specially-armed Capitol Police team was reportedly told to leave Monday's shooting scene at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard before the alleged shooter Aaron Alexis was stopped.
"I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," an unidentified Capitol Police source told the BBC.
The Capitol Police normally guard the U.S. Capitol, but their heavily-armed Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when shots broke out at 8:20 a.m.
When the Cert team showed up at the Navy Yard, a Washington D.C. police officer told them that they were the only ones at the scene who had long guns and asked for their help.
However, when the Cert team radioed their commander, they were allegedly told to leave the scene, an unidentified source told the BBC.
In response to the controversy, Capitol Hill Police chief Kim Dine has reportedly ordered "a comprehensive, independent review of the facts surrounding the Capitol Police's response to the Navy Yard shootings."
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, who supervises the entire Capitol Police department, told the BBC: "It's a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave. It crushes me if that's the case."