WASHINGTON (AP) — Yesterday's deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard may raise more questions about the adequacy of the background checks that are done on government contract employees and others who are issued security clearances.
Officials say Aaron Alexis -- an information technology employee with a defense contractor -- used a valid pass to get into the Navy Yard building where he opened fire yesterday, killing 12 people. But they're also revealing that Alexis had been hearing voices and was being treated for mental problems in the weeks before the rampage. Still, he was able to keep his security clearance.
And officials say Alexis was given an early discharge from the Navy in 2011 because of insubordination and other problems -- but the discharge was an honorable one.
Alexis was killed yesterday in a gun battle with police.
Law enforcement officials now say Alexis used a shotgun and two handguns in the assault -- but not an AR-15 assault rifle, as authorities had previously reported. An official says he arrived with the shotgun, and took the handguns away from law officers at the scene.
153-r-41-(Sound of U.S. Navy bugler playing "Taps", as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel lays wreath at Navy Memorial to honor Washington Navy Yard shooting victims)--Sound of a U.S. Navy bugler playing "Taps" as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel lays a wreath at the U.S. Navy Memorial to honor Washington Navy Yard shooting victims. (17 Sep 2013)
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141-a-14-(Michelle Mason, newspaper distributor who works near Navy Yard, in AP interview near Navy Yard)-"something like that"-Michelle Mason, who sells newspapers near the Navy Yard, says she was frightened after the shootings yesterday but today she feels something different. (17 Sep 2013)
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135-c-09-(Jill Craig, AP correspondent)-"quickly as possible"-AP correspondent Jill Craig reports that those staffers returning to the Washington Navy Yard this morning are trying to move past yesterday's deadly event. (17 Sep 2013)
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GRAPHICSBANK: Aaron Alexis headshot, man believed to be responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, DC, FBI photo, graphic element on gray (17 Sep 2013)
APPHOTO DCJM107: An officer who said he works for the Department of Defense, right, checks an id outside of the closed Washington Navy Yard in Washington, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, the day after a gunman launched an attack inside the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation's capital. Only essential personnel were being permitted inside, according the authorities. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (17 Sep 2013)
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