Criminal Justice Essay Paper on Alexis’s Shooting Scandal

Alexis’s Shooting Scandal


            The incident of navy shooting occurred on 16 September 2013. On Monday, “the perpetrator Aaron entered through the gates of Washington navy yard” (Chelsea, 2013). Alexis was currently working with Expert Company as a computer specialist (Chelsea, 2013). Aaron had a functional security pass that allowed him to enter several military bases. According to Christopher (2013), Alexis entered the yard using his common access and packed his hired car in front of the building. The car park was several meters from building 197 where the incident occurred. “At 14 past eight o’clock in the morning, Alexis entered the scene building at NAVSEA main operating building” (Christopher, 2013). Alexis entered the building to complete a task of updating computer programs and used the chance to sneak a concealed shotgun in the backpack. “Aaron Alexis gained access to the computer room and readers using his functional badge and crossed the alleys without the guards suspecting anything” (Chelsea, 2013). Alexis entered the washrooms in the fourth floor and later came out carrying a gun. He started walking through the alley shouting anyone who came his way.

            The initial report of the shooting was communicated at quarter past eight in the morning. The first police force to arrive at Washington navy yard was the law enforcement forces from the navy yard and other external agencies within the town. He did not target anyone since he shot randomly at the alleys and open rooms. The people killed ranged from middle age (45) to 73 years. Alexis injured other eight people including a police officer and two civilian women who were in the building (Crary, 2013). From the cameras at 197 building, Alexis entered the building without making noise that could raise the attention of the guards.

Reasons for the Attack

            Aaron Alexis was reported to have mental problems before the fatal tragedy at Washington navy yard. Before the incident, the manager of Expert and fellow employees had noticed that Alexis was acting in a strange manner, but never reported to the authority. The navy officials report that Alexis had cases of bad behavior. After interrogation, Alexis mentioned that the act resulted from anger. In addition, Alexis had confided in his friends that he had suffered cases of harassment and discrimination. Alexis had mental problems, such as hearing voices, lack of sleep, stress, and anger problems (Miller, 2013). Researchers argue that Alexi’s mental condition was the driving force towards the Washington navy yard shooting. After the navy yard shooting, the social media reported that Alexis had filed a form in Rhode Island police station, which he claimed he had been a victim of discrimination and harassment and that he heard voices in his head.

The police officers reported that Alexis was being controlled by low frequency electromagnetic waves that led him to kill people. Furthermore, after thorough investigation, police officers found messages in Alexis’s computer devices that were saying, “Ultra-low frequency attack is the condition that has been bothering me for the last three months” (Chelsea, 2013). Alexis died after the shoot-out with police and was then working on aeronautics degree.

Emergency Response

            After the first alert of the shooting at 197 building, the police responded to the emergency 30 minutes later. According to the interviews, the capitol police were restricted from entering the navy yard by a police officer on duty. Instead, they were denied access due to causing confusion and more attacks. The metropolitan police and naval security forces response was delayed, but later became swift and tactical. The police aided in neutralizing the attack, evacuating people from the scene, and facilitating medical response to the injured. The SWAT team had arrived earlier before the other police and could have time to save life. Aaron killed 12 employees and got himself killed by police officers.

The report released on Friday by police shows that the response delayed due to traffic congestion. The road officers arrived aiding in removing the traffic. The capitol police helped the employees and people at the yard out to safer places. The Washington navy yard securities aided in the massacre since there was poor security inspection. Alexis entered the navy yard with valid credentials, but the securities never checked his backpack. Another weakness of the navy officers was allowing many people entering a small gate at a short period. The safety of contractors and people was not considered well. The security officers are supposed to protect reserved areas from access by civilians and screen any luggage carried by civilians. The navy yard officers failed to screen Alexis and lacked metal detectors. This allowed Aaron to smuggle the short gun inside the building killing people.


            The incident of Washington navy yard shooting shows lack of readiness in the police force. The scenario criticized the causing weakness of the authority to respond to emergencies. The act also shows poor communication and network between the ordinary guards and officers and the navy. The poor security measures such as screening people, metal detectors, and searching civilian bags aided in the killing of the people.


Chelsea, J. and Evan, P. (2013). “Who is Aaron Alexis?” CNN. Retrieved from   

Christopher, T. (2013). “Report: Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Test-Fired AR-15, State Law      Prevented Purchase“. Mediate. Retrieved from            navy-yard-shooter-aaron-alexis-test-fired-ar-15-state-law-prevented-purchase/

Crary, D. (2013). “Gunman in Navy Yard shooting was in Navy Reserves”. San Francisco            Chronicle. Retrieved September 16, 2013.         to/

Miller, E. (2013). “MILLER: New York Times corrects AR-15 Navy Yard story, still misses the   mark”. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 23, 2013.   navy-yard-story-stil/