A man named Rollie Chance was initially identified as the Navy Yard shooter (or one of the suspected gunmen) by two major networks before he was found to be home and safe during the incident and in the aftermath.
The misidentification of Rollie Chance is reminiscent of early Newtown shooting reports, during which gunman Adam Lanza was initially and wrongly identified in several media reports as his brother Ryan Lanza, who was not involved with the Sandy Hook shooting.
Chance, a Navy lieutenant, was named as a confirmed Navy Yard shooter by both NBC’s Chuck Todd as well as CBS. Todd tweeted out the man’s name in connection with the shooting, only to delete the tweet later and hastily attempt to explain the decision on the microblogging service.
Interestingly, it seems that similar reasons for the confusion in Newtown caused the reporting of Chance’s name in relation to the shooting in Washington this morning.
At Sandy Hook, an ID card believed to have been carried by Lanza bearing his brother’s name was fingered in the initial misidentification.
Similarly, Chuck Todd says, Rollie Chance’s ID was located near the body of the dead gunman, who has yet to be identified officially.
The confusion over the shooter name had to do with an I.D. card found near dead gunman; What led to bad initial reporting.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 16, 2013
CBS’ Charlie Kaye tweeted a similar mea culpa:
Earlier, CBS News reported the ID of the shooter, based on an ID card found at the scene of the shootings, that person is not a suspect.
— CBS Radio News (@CBSRadioNews) September 16, 2013
While Rollie Chance has been vindicated in the misreporting and subsequent corrections, the name of the shooter has not yet been released by the media.