Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray suggested Tuesday that the cost-cutting as a result of the sequester may have contributed to the conditions that allowed a shooter gain clearance to enter the Navy Yard Monday, where he killed 12 people and wounded several others.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, entered the complex using a valid pass that he had been given as a defense contractor around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, according to police. He was ultimately killed in one of multiple engagements with police.
Speaking on CNN Tuesday morning about what might have prevented the shooting, Gray said, “It’s hard to know,” but “certainly, as I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, that we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this, and then we put people at risk. Obviously 12 people have paid the ultimate price for whatever — you know — whatever was done to have this man on the base.”
Since Alexis was identified as the gunman, details have come to light about several incidents of violence in his past that raise questions about how he was afforded the clearance necessary to enter the base.
“It really is hard to believe that someone with a record as checkered as this man could conceivably get clearance, could get credentials, to be able to get on the base,” said Gray. “I just met with the commandant of the Washington Navy Yard last week. We were talking about the security and we know this is one of the most secure facilities in the nation. So how this could happen is beyond belief.”