Aaron Alexis, 34, has been identified as the deceased shooter at the Washington Navy Yard. (Source: Busted/Fort Worth PD)
WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) – As the 12 victims' names of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, DC are released, so are more details about the life of alleged gunman Aaron Alexis prior to Monday's shooting.
Alexis, 34, was killed by a responding police officer after he opened fire from a fourth floor atrium into a first floor cafeteria at the Washington Navy Yard. He was armed with an two handguns and a shotgun.
Investigators believe he brought in the shotgun, but took the handguns from guards, according to CNN. Law enforcement officials identified Alexis through fingerprints and say he worked for Hewlett Packard as a subcontractor for the Navy. CNN reports that investigators believe Alexis may have smuggled an unassembled pump-action shotgun into the facilities in a backpack, assembled it in a restroom on the fourth floor and came out to begin shooting. Investigators also believe the shooter used buckshot during the incident.
CNN also reports that Alexis recently arrived in Washington, DC last week, and had just began working at the Navy Yard. Alexis had full security clearance to the Navy Yard and six other military bases with full military clearance called a CAC card, according to CNN. Alexis used the card to enter the Navy Yard on Monday, according to the FBI's Valerie Parlave in a press conference on Tuesday.
Although no motive is yet known, some say he was a kind man, others said he had anger management issues, including two previous gun-related run-ins with the law. Others speculate that Alexis' rampage may have been caused by a payment dispute.
But like previous mass shooting suspects, Alexis had been treated by the U.S. government for mental illness and hearing voices, according to the Associated Press. Sources told the AP the former Navy reservist had suffered serious issues, including paranoia and sleep disorder.
In one incident on Aug. 7, Alexis told police in Newport, RI that three people were following him from hotel to hotel to "keep him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations into his body," the police report says. Alexis identified himself as a Naval subcontractor and told police this was happening after a verbal altercation with another individual.
The AP reports that a Virginia gun store employee said Alexis purchased ammunition and a gun from the Sharpshooters Small Arms Range two days before the shooting.
The Veterans Administration had been treating him since August, but he had not been declared mentally unfit, the sources said. That would have caused his security clearance to be revoked.
Born in Queens, NY, Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to 2011. He left the Navy on Jan. 31, 2011, as a petty officer 3rd class; he was discharged because of a pattern of misconduct, specifically because of a shooting incident in Seattle in 2004.
He did, however, received a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal during his time in the service, which lasted from 2007 until his discharge in 2011.
His father said in 2004 he was an "active participant in rescue attempts in the Sept. 11 attacks," but whether or not that's true is unclear.
Alexis recently lived in Fort Worth, TX, where he was working towards a bachelor's of science degree in aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University through online courses.
He often frequented a Buddhist temple, where he met the owner of the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, Nutpisit Suthamtewakul. Alexis had traveled to Thailand and could speak some of the language. The two became friends, even living together. Alexis sometimes waited tables at the restaurant. Customers told CNN he was friendly with everyone.
Suthamtewakul told CNN he never saw Alexis become angry, but that Alexis quit the Navy because he did not want to get up early.
However, Oui Suthamtewakul told the Associated Press that Alexis lived with him and his wife in Fort Worth from August 2012 to May 2013. Suthamtewakul said Alexis was a nice guy but wasn't paying his bills, often complained about discrimination and carried a gun.
Friends in Fort Worth tell CNN Alexis was frustrated about a payment issue from the civilian contracting company, but Michael Ritrovato said he never showed signs of violence.
"It's incredible that this is all happening, because he was a very good-natured guy," Ritrovato said. "It seemed like he wanted to get more out of life."
Alexis felt construction workers from a nearby work area were parking their cars near where he was living. The owner of the construction business told police Alexis had watched the workers for several days.
Police arrested Alexis for malicious mischief after finding a gun and ammunition in his residence. He told police the construction workers mocked him.
In 2010, he was arrested for discharging a gun in Fort Worth. In that incident, he told police he was cleaning his gun when it went off. The bullet went through his neighbor's ceiling, and he told police he did not check on that person because the two had a contentious relationship.
According to a news release on Monday, the Tarrant County district attorney decided not to pursue the case because "it was determined that the elements constituting recklessness under Texas law were not present."
There are reports of another arrest for disorderly conduct outside a nightclub in 2008 out of DeKalb, GA.
However, after these incidents, Alexis was hired by The Experts, a subcontractor of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Systems.
CNN reports the Department of Defense gave him "secret" clearance in July 2013 - the second security background check in two years. Monday would have been his first day on the job at the Navy Yard.
The military and those who are hired as contractors are required to report if they have been arrested, not just convicted, of any crimes.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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