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Report: Navy Yard shooting could have been prevented

The September 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting could have been prevented had gunman Aaron Alexis's supervisors reported his erratic behavior in the months leading up to the attack, a Pentagon report concluded.

A Pentagon review of the events surrounding the mass shooting, where 12 people were killed, determined there were “missed opportunities for intervention that, had they been pursued, could have prevented the tragic result at the Washington Navy Yard.”

The investigation, which was released Tuesday, found there was a pattern of events in Alexis’s life that should have revealed a “pattern of misconduct and disturbing behavior” that could have set off alarm bells.
The Navy’s investigation found that Alexis’s supervisors at a government contractor had noticed Alexis behaving in a way that raised concerns about his mental stability.

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“This information was not reported to the government as required,” the report said. "Had this information been reported, properly adjudicated, and acted upon, Alexis’ authorization to access secure facilities and information would have been revoked.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the internal and independent reviews conducted after the shooting found “troubling gaps” in the Pentagon’s ability to detect and prevent what are known as insider attacks.

Hagel announced a series of recommendations in the wake of the attack, including a new system to continuously evaluate personnel with access to Defense Department facilities and classified information, a reduction in the number of security clearances issued and reducing the Pentagon’s reliance on the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) for background checks.

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