Who was Aaron Alexis, the Washington Navy Yard killer?
Gunman who killed 12 people at US navy base in DC said to be devoted Buddhist disturbed by 9/11
THE GUNMAN who killed 12 people and injured several others at the Washington Navy Yard yesterday has been identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former navy reservist.
He was killed in a gun battle with police after shooting at navy employees from a balcony at the US navy base in Washington DC. As more details emerge about his past, here are seven things you need to know:
What did he do in the navy? Alexis enrolled in the reserves in 2007 and became a navy aviation electrician's mate third class. He received two medals and reportedly made at least one complaint about discrimination during his service.
Why did he leave? He was discharged in January 2011, apparently because of a series of misconduct issues. In September 2010, an upstairs neighbour complained that he had intentionally shot into the floor of her apartment in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to police files, the woman was "terrified" of Alexis, who had previously reported her to the police for being too loud. Alexis claimed it was an accident and that he had been "trying to clean his gun while cooking and that his hands were slippery". He was arrested but not charged.
Was this his only run-in with police? No. In 2008, he was kept in jail in Georgia for two nights for disorderly conduct and in May 2004 two construction workers claimed he fired three shots into the tyres of their parked car. Alexis was arrested and later told police he thought the men had "disrespected him".
He claimed he had an anger-fuelled "blackout" and could not remember firing his gun until an hour after the incident. He was released on condition he did not have contact with the two victims.
What did he do after he was discharged from the navy? He reportedly worked as a waiter at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in Fort Worth. Having travelled to Thailand, he was able to speak to Thai customers in their native language.
He was studying for an online bachelor's degree in aeronautics and converted to Buddhism, regularly praying at a Fort Worth Buddhist temple, Wat Budsaya.Ty Thairintr, a fellow worshipper, said: "He was a very devoted Buddhist. There was no tell-tale sign of this behaviour."
How did he get into the naval base? Alexis worked for The Experts, a professional services company subcontracted by Hewlett-Packard on a navy IT project. According to the FBI, his ID badge allowed him access to the base on Monday.
Did he have a motive? This remains unclear. Alexis did tell detectives after the 2004 shooting incident that he had been "disturbed" by his experiences during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
His father told police he 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".
What are his family saying now? His brother-in-law Anthony Little claims it has been several years since Alexis spoke to his family, who live in Brooklyn, New York. Little, who married Alexis's sister Naomi, had not even met him. He told NBC4 that Alexis's mother Cathleen and the family were "shocked" and "distraught". ·