The Navy Yard shooting by 34-year-old Aaron Alexis is raising the question of why this man killed 12 innocent victims in a shooting rampage in the Washington Navy Yard which is supposed to be one of the most secure environments in the United States. So far, there are 10 key facts and insights known about the alleged Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis according to a Sept. 16, 2013, The New York Times and FBI report.
- Aaron Alexis was born on May 9, 1979, in Queens New York.
- Aaron Alexis is described as being 6’1’’ and weighing 190 pounds. Aaron Alexis is also described as male, black hair, brown eyes, and his race is noted by the FBI as “Black.”
- Aaron Alexis’ last residence is known to be Fort Worth, Texas.
- Aaron Alexis had told authorities during previous run-ins with the law that he was in New York during the Sept.11 attacks and that “those events had disturbed him.” Aaron Alexis’ father said to investigators that his son was an “active participant” in the rescue operations on 9/11 and that he “had problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
- In 2004, according to a Seattle police report, Aaron Alexis walked out of his grandmother’s home one morning, pulled a .45-caliber pistol from his waistband and fired three rounds at a construction worker’s car, two at the rear tires and one into the air. Aaron Alexis was known to a construction manager and to the police as a man who had episodes of frustration, anger outbreaks, and “anger-fueled” blackouts. “But Mr. Alexis told the police that he had had an anger-fueled blackout and could not remember firing the weapon until about an hour after the episode.”
- “From 2007 to 2011, Aaron Alexis was a full-time reservist in the Navy, serving as an aviation electricians’ mate and achieving the rank of petty officer third class. For much of that time, from February 2008 to January 2011, when he left the service, he was assigned to the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46, in Fort Worth, Navy officials said. His specialty was fixing electrical systems on airplanes.” While being in the Navy, Aaron Alexis is said to have shown “a pattern of misbehavior” according to Navy officials but no further details were provided.
- After leaving the Navy, Aaron Alexis became a Navy contractor. As of Monday, Aaron Alexis worked for a company affiliated with Hewlett-Packard that serviced the Navy’s Internet system, according to a Hewlett-Packard statement.
- Socially, Aaron Alexis’ sister had not spoken to her brother in five years. In recent years, Aaron Alexis dated a Thai woman, had Thai friends, and attended Buddhist Sunday services while he lived in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Financially, Aaron Alexis appeared to have mainly struggled with being able to pay his bills. “He rarely paid and borrowed money often, said Ms. Wilton, an acquaintance who said that “his computer company was withholding pay.”
- Aaron Alexis had been living for weeks in a long-term-stay hotel with colleagues to work on the Navy Yard project, according to a government official.
On Monday, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, who had recently been hired as a civilian contractor, entered the Naval Yard. Aaron Alexis went to the fourth floor of the headquarters building of the Naval Sea Systems Command and started shooting down into an atrium that includes an employee cafeteria.
As of now, investigators believe that Aaron Alexis began the assault with only a shotgun and that he took an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun from people he shot.
"I heard pop, pop, pop and then maybe three seconds later, four more shots," an eyewitness reported who was in the building when the shooting started.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, an official close to the investigation into the Navy Yard shooting said that “federal authorities were looking into the possibility that Alexis had a dispute with his employer, a company called The Experts, which works as a subcontractor to a division of Hewlett-Packard. The official said Alexis was ‘particularly upset over a pay or salary dispute’ from work he had performed in Asia for the company. Alexis believed the company had shorted him on his wages for work he had performed in Japan, the official said.”
According to a Boston Herald report, Aaron Alexis prior “shooting rampage” in June of 2004 which only involved shooting out tires of a construction worker’s vehicle near his grandmother’s house where he had been staying resulted in a police report.
“The police report quotes Alexis’ father telling cops, ‘his son experienced anger-management problems that the family believed (were) associated with PTSD. He confirmed that his son was an active participant in rescue attempts of Sept. 11, 2001’.”
“The  case was referred to Seattle Municipal Court, but the paperwork never made it to the prosecutor’s office, a spokeswoman said.”