HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) - In the aftermath of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting, questions linger about the gunman's mental health.
The shooter, Aaron Alexis, reportedly had a history of psychiatric problems. He suffered from paranoia and claimed to have heard heard voices in his head. Alexis' father is also saying his son had post traumatic stress disorder.
Investigators say Alexis sought treatment at a Veteran's Affair's hospital. Now, members of Congress are asking how Alexis -- given his mental health issues -- was able to keep his security clearance.
10 On Your side talked to Senator Mark Warner about this issue on Wednesday. The Senator says security clearances should be checked more often to catch potential problems.
"He had a security pass, then he left employment of the government," Warner said. "There was no re-vetting or revalidation of his pass, so perhaps how long you get a security pass without a re-vetting should be looked at."
Alexis had his clearance since 2008, and it was valid for 10 years. Senator Warner told 10 On Your Side something needs to be done to prevent unwell individuals from having security clearances. But, when it comes to limiting clearances for people with mental illness, the Senator urges caution.
Warner worries putting too many restrictions on service members will cause many not to apply for clearances or feel discriminated against.
"I also want to be sensitive to the fact there are an awful lot of brave men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who have had challenges with PTSD, and I don't want them to under report or not feel like they can't get the kind of services they need because that might restrict their employment," Warner said.
The Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey spoke on mental health concerns in a press conference on Wednesday. Dempsey said he doubts that questions about mental health on an security clearance application would have revealed Alexis' mental problems.
Alexis reported he was being treated at a Veteran Affair's facility. 10 On Your Side asked Senator Warner if changes need to be made at the VA hospitals as well. Warner said he won't weigh in on the VA's role in this case until he has seen all the facts in how Alexis was being treated.
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