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Congress Seeking Shooter's Veterans Records



    Congress Seeking Navy Yard Shooter's Veterans Records, Security Clearance

    News4's I-Team obtained an exclusive letter seeking veterans records and security clearance information for the gunman in the Navy Yard shootings. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013)

    News4 I-Team has learned Congress is seeking Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis' veterans records and security clearance information.

    Alexis shot and killed 12 people Monday morning inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard. He was also killed during the incident, and police say he had the proper clearance to enter the building that morning -- he had been discharged from the Navy in 2011. 

    As recently as last month, Alexis had called police from his hotel in Rhode Island, saying he heard people talking to him through the walls, floors and ceiling. Although no further action was taken by police, Alexis was reportedly treated at a VA hospital for psychological issues. 

    Navy Yard Shooter Was Honorably Discharged From the Navy

    [DC] Navy Yard Shooter Was Honorably Discharged From the Navy
    From the Live Desk, Wendy Rieger talks about Aaron Alexis's honorable discharge from the Navy in 2011 following reports of disorderly conduct.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013)

    The U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee has requested records of any medical care given to Alexis by Veterans Affairs. The letter also requests details of his benefits and "any services afforded to him by the department of Veterans Affairs." It does not, however, question whether any mistakes were made in Alexis' case.

    Kim Ruocco with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors -- a group that supports military families -- said the process of getting VA treatment can be tricky.

    "Navigating all of that is difficult," Ruocco said. "We have to do much better about making it simple... getting them seen immediately, before they have to navigate all the avenues to get care."

    Questions also remain regarding Alexis' security clearance to enter the Navy Yard. Veteran Jessie Duff has held a federal security clearance for 10 years and said those being screened could easily conceal a mental illness.

    "Your clearance is good for 10 years," she said. "You're supposed to report anything that happens in the middle of those 10 years. We don't know [if people are reporting those things]. The process is not perfect."