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Navy Yard gunman had access pulled

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 7:09 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — The company that employed the Washington Navy Yard shooter pulled his access to classified material for two days in August when mental health problems became evident, but restored it quickly and never told Navy officials about the withdrawal, The Associated Press has learned.

An initial Navy review revealed that the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, The Experts, ordered computer contractor Aaron Alexis back to Washington after a police incident in Rhode Island in August, according to senior U.S. officials. The company then withdrew his ability to access secret-level data for two days, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. It did not disclose why his access was reinstated. Less than six weeks later, the former Navy reservist gunned down 12 civilian workers in a Navy Yard building, and police fatally shot him.

The Experts did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The classified access revelation has raised questions about whether the company's disclosure of the discipline could have brought Alexis to Navy officials' attention earlier and perhaps prevented the massacre. The Navy did an initial review into the matter, but it has not yet been released.

Officials have done a full investigation, including what prompted the company's decision and why the government was never told. Naval leaders are reviewing that report.

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