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Aaron Alexis and Workplace Violence


On the morning of September 16, 2013, contractor Aaron Alexis used his facility badge to access the grounds of the Navy Yard in Washington DC, and shot 15 people, killing 12 in a tragic mass shooting. He claimed on his clearance application he had never been charged with a felony or arrested. The reality is he had several run ins with law enforcement, specifically he was detained three times:

* Arrested in 2004 in Washington State for shooting out car tires

* Arrested in 2008 in Georgia for disorderly conduct

* Arrested in 2010 in Texas for discharging a weapon inside city limits.

Federal security clearances are updated every 5-10 years based on your level of clearance. In this case Aaron Alexis, had been granted a “secret” clearance. Most employers do not conduct post-employment screening and rely on the security clearance periodic review process. His arrest over a six-year period in three different states was not fully appreciated until after the tragic event. The warning signs had remained hidden in plain sight. ClearForce would have picked up information on each of these events and could have alerted the Contractor or the Navy in real time, enabling an investigation which would have allowed them to withdraw his access to the Navy yard and possible avert a tragedy. Additionally, ClearForce achieves all alerts and outcomes of investigations. This would have allowed the investigator to see previous alerts thus allowing a full picture to come into focus.