Navy Yard Shooter Passed Employee Background Check

Posted by Kristina Taylor
September 25, 2013

Navy Yard Shooter Passed Employee Background Check

Defense contractors who ran a criminal background check on navy yard gunman Aaron Alexis this past June said his record contained only information about a traffic violation. However, further research into Alexis’ past found that at least two prior incidents involving gunfire saw him questioned by police.

A Seattle police report from 2004 alleged Alexis was arrested for “mischief” after he shot out the tires of a man’s care after an argument. Later in 2010, while stationed in Fort Worth he was arrested again after a neighbor reported he shot a bullet through the ceiling of her apartment. The neighbor said Alexis had complained about noise and she told police she was “terrified” of him. He was not charged in that incident because he claimed the gun discharged accidentally.

Despite these incidents, Alexis not only cleared the background check performed by his most recent employer, but he also had security clearance to access the navy yard in Washington, DC.

In addition to his employee screenings, the Virginia gun shop where Alexis purchased the weapon used in the mass shootings also conducted their own background screening this summer. There no red flags in that report, either.

The defense contractor that employed Alexis this year said they would not have hired him had they known about his previous arrests for gun-related offenses. Many are now questioning how he was able to maintain his security clearance despite being honorably discharged from the Navy in 2011 for misconduct issues. Currently, federal standards require employees with such a clearance only need to be re-vetted every ten years.

What do you think? Should the shooters previous gun incidents have showed up on background screenings?

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