Report: Navy base didn't consider Alexis a threat - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Report: Navy base didn't consider Alexis a threat

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Officials at the Navy base in Newport failed to report from police in August that the man accused of killing 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had complained about hearing voices coming from the ceiling of his hotel, a Pentagon official told USA Today.

Aaron Alexis, 34, was questioned by Newport police on Aug. 7 at a Marriott. Alexis, a Navy civilian contractor working on a job at the Newport base, told officers that three unknown people were trying to prevent him from sleeping and sending "vibrations" through his body.

Newport police then contacted base security to alert them about Alexis.

The official told USA Today there was no indication that the information went beyond the naval security force.

Another Navy source told USA Today that base security, "did not deem Alexis to pose a threat to himself or others based on his alleged conduct at the hotel that night."

The first official told USA Today, Naval Station Newport authorities did not contact Alexis' employer, a Florida-based information technology firm called The Experts, or other authorities. The first official told the newspaper that the information remains preliminary and could change.

Also Wednesday, The Associated Press reported the Veteran Affairs Department told lawmakers that Alexis visited two VA hospitals in late August complaining of insomnia, but that he denied struggling with anxiety or depression or had thoughts of harming himself or others.

The VA said Alexis visited the VA facility in Providence on Aug. 23 and was given medication to help him sleep and advised to follow up. Five days later, he sought a refill at the VA Medical Center in Washington. The VA described him as "alert and oriented" during both visits.

Despite undergoing treatment, Alexis was not stripped of his security clearance.

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Pentagon to review the physical security of all U.S. defense facilities and the security clearances that allow access to them.

Hagel said he's also tasking an independent panel to undertake the same reviews. He said Wednesday that "where there are gaps, we will close them."

"The question regarding the Rhode Island incident with this individual, we are reviewing all of that," Hagel said. "What should have been done that wasn't done. Should more have been done? How could we have brought those kinds of reports into the clearance process and so on. That'll be part of the review."

USA Today and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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