Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — The family of a woman slain during the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is seeking $37.5 million from the government, saying the Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs ignored red flags about the killer’s deteriorating mental health.
During a news conference Friday in Tampa, attorneys for the family of Mary DeLorenzo Knight said they were seeking the money in an administrative claim. The claim, one of the first steps toward filing a lawsuit, has been delivered to the agencies.
Under federal law, the Navy and VA must investigate the claim and determine whether it has merit.
If they think it doesn’t, attorneys for Knight’s family said they will sue.
Knight was one of 12 people gunned down by Aaron Alexis on Sept. 16 before he was killed in a shootout with police. The lawsuit said the contractor Alexis worked for should have told the Navy about his mental health problems and that the Navy should not have given him security clearance.
Navy officials have said they found no record the company alerted the Navy about his mental health.
Knight, a 51-year-old divorced mother of two adult daughters, was born into a military family and worked as an expert in cybersecurity at the Navy Yard.