Details about the D.C Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis (34) trickled in overnight as law enforcement continues to piece everything together. The shooter was a contractor with access to the facility, a discharged Reserve member, and had prior run-ins with the law over gun charges.
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Alexis joined the US Navy Reserve in 2007 and moved through the ranks becoming an aviation electrician’s mate third class February 2008. He was discharged January 2011 because of a 2010 incident in Fort Worth, Texas where he fired a gun into the floor of an upstairs neighbor’s apartment.
He has both the national defense service medal and the global war on terrorism service medal.
Prior to the 2010 incident, he was arrested by Seattle police in 2004 for shooting a construction worker’s car. Aaron Alexis’ father told police that his son suffered from “anger management problems associated with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and that Alexis had been an active participant in rescue attempts on September 11, 2001.”
The statement also goes on to mention that following the arrest, Aaron Alexis believed he was mocked by the construction workers that morning. He also said that he had an “anger-fueled blackout’ after shooting at the car and didn’t remember the incident until an hour later.
In addition to his account of the 2004 shooting, he told law enforcement about how September 11, 2001 “disturbed him,” according to the statement.
The 2010 statement showed that Alexis confronted his neighbor for making too much noise and had called the police on her several times about being too loud.
He claimed to have fired into her apartment accidentally while cleaning his gun. Apparently he had been cooking prior and his hands were slippery, resulting in him pulling the trigger while taking the gun apart.
In both the 2004 and 2010 incidents Aaron Alexis wasn’t charged. In Seattle he was given the pass if he stayed away from the construction workers. In the Texas incident it was determined that it was an accidental discharge.
In the summer of 2012, Alexis enrolled in the Fort Worth campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He was an online student pursuing a bachelor’s of science in aeronautics. They are also working with law enforcement
Following his departure from the Reserve, Aaron Alexis put his knowledge of Thailand and skill in Thai language to use and began working as a waiter and delivery driver with the Happy Bowl Thai in Fort Worth, Texas.
One of Alexis’ acquaintances, Oui Suthametewakul, said that the shooter lived with his family between August 2012 and May 2013. Alexis left after not paying his bills. He mentioned that Alexis was actually a pleasant person to be around even though he carried a gun at times and talk about being discriminated against often.
Suthametewakul noted that Alexis converted to Buddhism and frequented a local temple, Wat Budsaya. “We are all shocked. We are nonviolent. Aaron was a very good practitioner of Buddhism. He could chant better than even some of the Thai congregants.” Ty Thairintr, a regular at the temple told the Associated Press.
Alexis told Thairintr and fellow congregants that he would be moving to Virginia and taking a job as a contractor.
The shooter was contracted to Hewlett-Packard subcontractor The Experts, based out of Alexandria Virginia. The company’s main job is to fix computers and systems used on the NMCI network (Navy Marine Corps Intranet).
The job gave Aaron Alexis access around the Navy Yard and into Building 197 where the shootings occurred.
Both Hewlett-Packard and The Experts gave condolences to the families of the victims and are working with FBI and D.C law enforcement.
Friends of Aaron Alexis have said that he was in no way a loner—a regular trait attributed to rampage shooters—and had a fascination with video games, often joking when he shooting someone in-game.
After the identity of the shooter was revealed, the NYPD blocked off the general area where Aaron Alexis’ family resides.
Anthony Little, the suspect’s brother-in-law, spoke with the local NBC affiliate saying that the family were shocked and “distraught” by the shooting.