Review Finds Navy Yard Rampage Could’ve Been Prevented

March 19, 2014

A Defense Department review of the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, which left 12 dead, found the shooting could have been prevented, if the Navy had properly evaluated and reported the gunman’s alarming behavior leading up to the shootings.

NPR’s Tom Bowman reports that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered changes in how the government screens its workers and protects its facilities. He filed this report our Newscast unit:

“It was last September when government contractor Aaron Alexis drove into the Washington Navy Yard, flashed his ID card, and then proceeded to shoot a dozen people, before being killed in a gun battle with police.

“The review found that no one reported Alexis’ growing mental health problems. Here’s Secretary Hagel.

“‘The reviews identified troubling gaps in DOD’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working for us, a government employee, a member of our military or a contractor decides to inflict harm on the institutions or its people,’ Hagel said during a press conference.

“Hagel has ordered better background checks and a system that will handle employees who pose a threat.”

The New York Times reports the review found defense facilities were too concerned with threats from outside their perimeters, as opposed to “from people who have security clearances.”

The Washington Post adds that the report also found the Pentagon has issued “security clearances to many employees and contractors who are not required to access classified information in the course of their jobs.”

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