Aaron Alexis, the suspected gunman in the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting, was arrested twice for gun violations and was being treated for mental illness. He felt that the Navy didn't respect him, friends say.
As authorities investigate how and why the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard occurred, details about Aaron Alexis, the suspected gunman, are emerging that point to a man with a history of angry acts who was seeking help through Buddhism and mental health treatment.
Here are answers to five key questions about Mr. Alexis, given what is known about him so far.
1. What is Aaron Alexis’s history with the Navy?
Alexis was a full-time reservist in the US Navy from 2007 to 2011. He received a general discharge in January 2011 after exhibiting a “pattern of misconduct,” according to officials, who declined to provide details of his misconduct.
While he served, Alexis did not have day-to-day contact with the Navy but was in the “ready reserve,” where he would be mobilized if called upon, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told CNN.
After his release from the Navy, Alexis found work as a military subcontractor for The Experts, a group affiliated with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services that served the Navy’s Internet system, according to USA Today. Through his work, Alexis had security clearance to access the navy yard.
2. What is his prior arrest record? Is there a Sept. 11 connection?
Before his discharge from the Navy, Alexis was arrested at least twice for weapons violations. In 2004, he was arrested in Seattle for shooting the right and left rear tires of another man’s car and firing a shot into the air with a .45-caliber pistol.
According to the Seattle police report, Alexis “stated that he perceived the victim had mocked him earlier that morning after he discovered his own vehicle had been tampered with.”
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