Aaron Alexis’ mother breaks her silence overnight, according to a report by ABC News on Thursday, Sep. 19. She told press, “Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone. I am so, so very sorry that this has happened ... My heart is broken.” Meanwhile, as authorities continue to investigate incidents in Aaron Alexis’ recent past, they find potential clues in phrases Alexis carved into the stock of his shotgun used in the fatal shootings of 12 civilians on Monday. Sources say that the gunman had etched “Better off this way” and “My ELF weapon” on the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun.
Investigators speculate that “Better off this way” might be Alexis’ signal that he expected to die during the massacre. Retired FBI profiler, Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, conjectured that “there were probably multiple triggers that caused him [Alexis] to decide ‘now is the time I’m going to take this course of action’ ... Thinking about it, conceptualizing it, planning it in his head.”
The ELF in “My ELF weapon” might refer to the technology phrase “extremely low frequency,” some investigators suspect since Alexis was a computer technician. ABC News senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas said Alexis had recently made bizarre rants to Rhode Island police “about hearing voices and microwave machines bombarding his body.”
On Wednesday, Sep. 18, ABC News discovered new details about 34-year-old IT contractor, Aaron Alexis and his “descent into madness just days before his rampage.” Authorities continue their search for his motives, discovering new details including missed warning signs involving instances where Alexis had told others about “voices and vibrations in his body.” USA Today said shooter had reported to police that he heard voices through walls and the ceiling of his hotel room.
Pierre Thomas reports Thursday that Rhode Island police “alerted Newport Naval Station authorities. But, the Navy confirmed Wednesday the information was never passed up the chain of command. Alexis kept his job as civilian contractor with the Navy and his secret security clearance.”
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a press conference, “Obviously, there were a lot of red flags ... And, where there are failures, we will correct them.”
The Navy Yard reopened Thursday. The families of Alexis’ victims still struggle with the aftermath of his rampage yet under investigation, as authorities continue to labor to put all the pieces together to make a complete picture, explaining how such a tragedy could have happened, again.