At one point, Vandroff said, two bullets were fired through the walls of the conference room where he was waiting.
Vandroff said all 60 of the people who report to him got out alive, but he was told that one of his friends in the building died.
"That's been hard to process," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Building 197 is one of three Naval Sea Systems Command buildings at the yard. The command acquires and maintains ships and submarines and their systems; Vandroff said his group is in charge of non-nuclear surface ships.
4:44 p.m. ET -- More about Alexis: He was last known to live in Fort Worth, Texas, but was born in Queens, New York, according to the FBI.
He enlisted in the Navy in May 2007 and left as an aviation electrician's mate 3rd class in January 2011, according to Navy records.
4:40 p.m. ET -- The FBI has released the pictures of Alexis at http://www.fbi.gov/. The bureau is asking people with any information about him to call it at 800-CALL-FBI. The FBI is looking for information about his recent movements and "his contacts and his associates," said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI Field Office, at a news conference in Washington.
4:34 p.m. ET -- Authorities still are looking for a person who, beyond Alexis, might have been involved in the shootings, Gray said. The description of this person remains as it was before: a black man in military-style drab-olive clothing, about 50 years old, and about 5 feet 10 inches tall.
4:13 p.m. ET -- Of the three wounded people who are being treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, two are Navy employees and one is a Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer, according to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
4:09 p.m. ET -- We'll have more information about the dead suspect, Aaron Alexis, shortly. Right now, here are some details about the three wounded people who were taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, according to the hospital's chief operating officer, Janis Orlowski:
All three were talking when they arrived, and they are expected to have at least a good, if not full, recovery. One man is in surgery, having suffered gunshot wounds to the lower extremities, Orlowski said.
The two other wounded victims are women. One is in surgery for a shoulder wound. Just before the surgery, she in was in "very good spirits," Orlowski said.
The third patient is a "very, very lucky young lady," Orlowski said. This woman has injuries to her hand and head - and the bullet wound to the head did not penetrate bone, according to Orlowski. "Obviously she has suffered a significant wound, but she will recover without surgery," Orlowski said.
3:55 p.m. ET -- The dead suspect was Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor from Texas, the Washington FBI field office told CNN's Pamela Brown.
Alexis was identified through fingerprints and an identification card that was on the suspect's body, the FBI field office said.
3:51 p.m. ET -- We're expecting a news conference to begin soon at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where victims of the shooting were sent. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is expected to be among the speakers. Minutes ago, he tweeted that he was at the center to meet with victims.
3:34 p.m. ET -- The dead suspect has been fingerprinted and identified, a government official with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
3:17 p.m. ET -- The Washington Nationals baseball team, whose stadium is near the Navy Yard, has postponed the game it was scheduled to play tonight against the visiting Atlanta Braves. As noted earlier, evacuees of the Navy Yard are being bused to the stadium's parking Lot B, and some of their loved ones are waiting there to be reunited with them.
"All of us here in the Nationals organization were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events that occurred this morning only a few blocks from Nationals Park. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our friends at the Navy Yard and those impacted by today's incident," the team said in a statement.
3:12 p.m. ET -- All D.C. schools will be released on time, the public school system said via Twitter.
3:11 p.m. ET --The Senate side of the Capitol will go into lock-down for about two hours, a senior Democratic source tells CNN.
The source said that after Virginia Tech and Boston, it's "just not wise to start sending staff outside to wander. We want to give D.C. police a chance to do their jobs."
The House side is not planning a lock-down, senior Republican leadership aides say.
2:54 p.m. ET -- Washington police say the white male who was sought in connection with the shooting has been cleared as a suspect.
2:52 p.m. ET -- The Navy wants to account for all of its personnel in the area and issued an order to that effect.