SECNAV Extends Legal Services to Navy Yard Gunshot Victims, Families

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus discusses his decision to extend legal services to gunshot victims of the shooting at Washington Navy Yard and their immediate families.

Extension of Certain Legal Assistance Services to Gunshot Victims of the Washington Navy Yard(Download the PDF)

As we deal with the many issues and emotions after the tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, the Navy has created a team to address the challenges those affected will face in the coming days, weeks, and years.  Today, in an effort to begin the healing, the Secretary of the Navy extended legal assistance services to the gunshot victims of the shooting at Washington Navy Yard and their immediate or surviving spouses and children.  Naval judge advocates will be available to assist with personal civil legal matters arising from the shooting.  We want to ensure our Navy family is able to understand the resources available to them.


  • The Secretary of the Navy has approved the provision of legal assistance by Naval legal assistance providers to Navy Yard shooting victims and their immediate families.
  • Naval legal assistance providers will provide support in personal civil legal matters to these victims.
  • Non-eligible personnel will be provided information on local legal support services.

Location: Eligible victims will be assisted at the Emergency Family Assistance Center or may visit the Region Legal Service Office onboard Washington Navy Yard or Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday

Point of contact: Lt. Cmdr. Paul Kapfer, Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington Legal Assistance department head, 202-685-8382. 

Deceased victims: Services available to immediate family members include legal counseling on burial benefits, life insurance benefits, survivor’s social security benefits, probate issues and employment-related survivor benefits that may be available.

Wounded and hospitalized victims:  This group may receive legal services pertaining to immediate legal needs such as Powers of Attorney, wills, advance healthcare directives, employment-related benefits, and social security disability insurance claims.

Referral services: There are many non-legal and some, more complex, legal matters that may fall outside the practice purview of a Naval legal assistance attorney. For these matters, the legal team will do their best to refer those affected to the appropriate military or community resource.