Twelve innocent victims dead, several injured and the alleged shooter killed by police. Yet another mass murder has occurred in the United States; the latest was in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
How was the 34-year-old suspected murderer, Aaron Alexis, able to create this latest episode of carnage in America? What signs were missed that would have kept him from obtaining the security clearance that allowed him in the building or to obtain the guns that he used to shed blood at the Washington Navy Yard?
Alexis was a former reservist in the U.S. Navy from 2007-2011. He was blocked from re-entering the service because of problems with officials and his bosses.
During his time in the reserves, Alexis had reportedly been cited for disorderly conduct, insubordination and unauthorized long absences from work. He had eight misconduct charges level against him while serving in the Navy Reserves. He was about to be booted on a general discharge. That would have alerted any future employers that he had problems. But after Alexis applied to leave in early 2011, he was given an honorable discharge.
In 2004, Alexis was arrested Seattle, Wash., for shooting out the tires of a vehicle. He blamed it on the trauma of being near the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. According to his father, Alexis was an active participant in rescue attempts. He was never charged in connection with the Seattle incident.
In 2010, Alexis was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, for firing a gun through his ceiling into a neighbor’s apartment. He said the gun mistakenly misfired during a routine cleaning and he was never charged.
He was reportedly also arrested for disorderly conduct in DeKalb, Ga., in 2008. And, just a few months ago, a roommate called Forth Worth police and said Alexis had put an unknown substance into his gas tank in an apparent attempt to damage it.
Last year, Alexis reportedly fell hard for a woman he met in Thailand but was dumped by her when he invited the gal-pal back to the U.S.
According to several news reports, in August of this year Alexis sought treatment for mental health issues from the Veterans Administration because he began hearing voices in his head while suffering from sleep deprivation, anger and paranoia.
If the Navy or Veterans Administration had declared him mentally unfit, his security clearance would have been removed and it would have raised red flags for his current employer, The Experts – a subcontractor of Hewlett Packard. It was his job with the subcontractor that allowed him to have a government-contract access card, issued to civilians. The CEO of The Experts said he only learned from the media that Alexis also had been busted at least twice before.
Alexis had just been assigned to work at the Navy Yard last week. He had problems at work that included a simmering resentment over a contracting job in Japan for which he felt he wasn’t paid properly.
Alexis was angry and dealt with some of his anger by playing violent “zombie’’ video games, frequently from 12.30 p.m. till 4.30 a.m., sources cited.
How did Alexis’ behavior slip through the system? Answers need to be found and solutions implemented before it’s too late and another heinous attack claims more victims.