Report: Bosses failed to properly vet Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis

WASHINGTON — Coworkers, supervisors and associates of Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis raised concerns about his mental health, but those fears were never reported to the government, according to a Navy investigation into the shootings released Tuesday.

If the contractor for whom Alexis worked had told the government about his troubles, the report said, "Alexis' authorization to access secure facilities and information would have been revoked."

But Alexis' clearance was not revoked, and on Sept. 16, 2013, he entered Building 197 at the Navy Yard with a shotgun and killed 12 people before police shot and killed him. The report also found that security procedures were insufficient at the Naval facility near downtown Washington.

A key finding of the report: leaders of his employer, technology subcontractor The Experts, "decided not to inform the government of adverse information concerning Alexis' emotional, mental, or personality condition, even when they had concerns that Alexis may cause harm to others..."

A call Tuesday to The Experts, based in Fort. Lauderdale, was not immediately returned.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered several changes to Pentagon policy, including automated checks of personnel with access to military facilities or classified information and the establishment of an "Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center."

"Open and free societies are always vulnerable," Hagel said, adding that the Pentagon was doing all it could to keep its facilities safe.

Alexis' bizarre behavior became apparent to his supervisors — and to the Navy — when he traveled from Virginia to Rhode Island where he was working for the contractor at the Naval Station Newport on Aug. 4.

A hotel clerk asked Newport naval police to the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites in case Alexis hurt someone.

Officers "learned that Alexis had taken apart his bed, believing someone was hiding under it, and observed that Alexis had taped a microphone to the ceiling to record the voices of people that were following him," according to the report. He also complained about a chip in his head.

Officials at The Experts contacted local police and Alexis' mother about his behavior but concluded that that "the information collected about Alexis was based on rumor and innuendo, and therefore a report to the government should not be made, since doing so may infringe on Alexis' privacy rights."

Follow @tvandenbrook on Twitter.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment