WASHINGTON, DC -- Captain Monte Ulmer, Commanding Officer of Washington Navy Yard expects operations at the base to be fairly normal Thursday, 3 days after the shooting that killed 12 people. Accused shooter Aaron Alexis also died.

'Today is our period of transition and healing,' said Ulmer as he stood across from the base and in view of Building 197 in which the shooting happened.

'197 is closed until the investigation and work is complete,' Paul Marquis told 13News Now.

Marquis, a retired Navy officer, used to live in Chesapeake. He works in the building, and helped one of the shooting victims who survived.

'We're gonna do what we can off site, and do what we can remotely,' Marquis explained. 'For me, I don't know if it hasn't sunk in yet or if, I don't know. It's a different feeling. Being back down here is a certainly different, and seeing it in person, and being on site, and so, I think it'll hit again when we get back into the building.'

Marquis was among the employees who returned to WNY for the first time Wednesday, the same day support services were available on base.

'Our focus is to help all of those individuals affected, and that is our primary concern,' said Ulmer. 'Throughout the Washington Navy Yard, have counselors available, assisting those individuals.'

Ulmer also said he spoke to a few people as he welcomed them back and described their spirits as 'high.'

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