Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Lied About Gun-Related Arrest During Background Check

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis obtained a secret-level security clearance because he failed to mention a 2004 arrest involving a gun during his security screening.

Federal investigators said Alexis also failed to disclose multiple debts to the Navy when he applied for security clearance in 2007.

In 2004, Alexis was arrested for shooting out the tires of car parked in front of his homein Seattle. The vehicle belonged to local construction workers, with whom he had a parking dispute.

During his 2007 background check, Alexis indicated he did not have any prior arrests.

The report given to the Navy by the Office of Personnel Management didn’t even mention that a gun was involved in the incident. It simply said that Alexis had “deflated” the tires during a verbal altercation.

Officials don’t know who might have made those omissions fromt he report, whether the U.S. Investigative Services that investigated Alexis or the Office of Personnel Management is responsible.

Investigators said the Seattle police declined to give more information on the arrest, which left Navy officials to rely on court documents.

A senior official said Monday that there is "no way to know objectively" whether Alexis would have been given clearance if he had disclosed the gun-related arrest, the Washington Post reported.

The Navy learned of the arrest after the shooting, when Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered a review. Mabus will make recommendations to change security clearance approval to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel based on the review. Police records will now be disclosed in full.

Seattle police said they were planning to charge Alexis with a felony in the 2004 incident, but they were later reduced to a misdemeanor. The case was dropped, although Alexis confessed to the crime, because authorities lost the paperwork, according to the Post.

Sources: Mediaite, Washington Post