September 17, 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel intends to order a review of physical security and access at all Defense Department installations worldwide, a senior Pentagon official told CBS News, as investigators continue to search for a motive in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left 13 people dead, including the suspected gunman.
Hagel is collecting input from senior leaders today to define the parameters of the review, which could be formally announced as soon as tomorrow.
The suspected gunman, Aaron Alexis, used a valid pass to get into the highly secured installation Monday morning and started firing inside a building, the FBI said. He was killed in a gun battle with police.
"Mr. Alexis had legitimate access to the Navy Yard as a result of his work as a contractor and he utilized a valid pass to gain entry to the building," said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.
Authorities said Alexis entered the base's Building 197 with a shotgun that was legally purchased in Virginia. Alexis may have gained access to a handgun after entering the building but he did not have an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, as had been reported initially.
Parlave said that investigators will continue to conduct interviews, probe digital media and look into Alexis' past medical and criminal activities.
CBS News special correspondent and former FBI assistant director John Miller reported it is likely Alexis was a disgruntled worker with anger management issues. Miller also said that he had sought treatment for mental health issues from the Veteran's Administration.
"He said he was hearing voices, he was detached from reality at certain points. He had sought treatment a number of times at a number of places and he was also frustrated there. He claimed he wasn't getting his full VA benefits," Miller said.
In addition to Hagel's review, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday directed a review of Navy and Marine Corps' security procedures at domestic military bases.
The motive for the mass shooting — the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the attack at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said.
While authorities attempt to build a full picture of the suspect's past, the FBI says he has no connections with domestic or foreign terrorist groups, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports.
Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head, officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was still going on.
He had been treated since August by Veterans Affairs, the officials said.