Fort Worth man alleged gunman in DC Navy Yard shooting - KMSP-TV

Navy Yard gunman had history of mental illness

Posted: Updated:

The accused gunman in the Washington DC Navy Yard shooting is a man from Fort Worth who apparently had a history of mental illness.

Aaron Alexis, 34, has been ID'd as the main suspect in the Monday morning shootings that have left at least 13 dead. Alexis rained gunfire on workers in the cafeteria and hallways from the upper floors at a building at the Navy Yard. Alexis was killed during the shooting.

Reports on Tuesday indicated Alexis has been showing signs of mental illness for many years, but only started receiving treatment one month ago.

Alexis called police in Rhode Island in August to complain he was hearing voices and being followed by people who were trying to use a microwave machine to send vibrations into his body.

Police forwarded that information to the naval station where Alexis was doing contract work and the FBI is investigating how the information was handled from that point forward.

Fort Worth police said Alexis was arrested by officers in Sept. 2010 for discharging a firearm within the city limits. He was booked into the Fort Worth City jail and posted a $2,000 bond. Records indicate Alexis was not charged in the incident.

Alexis' roommate until about four months ago was Fort Worth man Nutpisit Suthamtewakul. Suthamtewakul told FOX4 on Monday he lived with Alexis for three years.

He described Alexis as a great guy and was stunned to find out about the shootings in Washington DC and Alexis' link to them.

Suthamtewakul said Alexis had a concealed handgun license and worked as a computer tech and spoke Thai. In his free time, Alexis spent time at a local Buddhist temple.

Suthamtewakul said when Alexis was without a job, he let him work at a Thai food restaurant he owned, called Happy Bowl Thai.

Others who knew him don't describe him as a violent man, and say they only knew he worked with computers as a Navy contractor.

"He never talked about a plan, he never indicated he was going to go do anything," Kristi Suthametewaku, Alexis' best friend's wife, said. "It's hard to believe he would go down and shoot people."

Civil records show the apartment complex where Alexis lived at in 2010 proceeded with eviction efforts in Oct. of that year. Alexis' address in the 2400 block of Oak Hill Circle matches the address of The Orion at Oak Hill apartment complex.

The eviction proceedings began just weeks after the gun incident. Alexis told police he was cleaning his gun when it discharged, firing through his ceiling and going through the floor of the apartment above him.

Police did find a gun cleaning kit when they spoke with Alexis after getting a 911 call. The Tarrant County District Attorney's office the "elements constituting recklessness under Texas law were not present" and a case was not filed.

Alexis was arrested in 2004 by Seattle police in what they called an anger-fueled blackout shooting. Alexis shot out the tires of a person's vehicle who worked at a nearby construction site.

Alexis told police he had been mocked by construction workers and they had disrespected him, but he couldn't remember the shooting until an hour after it happened due to an anger-fueled "blackout."

His father told detectives Alexis had anger management problems associated with PTSD. Alexis himself told detectives he was disturbed by the 9/11 attacks.

Another friend says Alexis was having money problems several months ago and was upset at his employer, a defense department contractor.

"He called me and told me they didn't pay him what they were supposed to. He was really actually wanting a loan because his car broke down," Michael Ritrovato said. "There were a few things that would happen to him all at once but nothing that you would think would lead to something like this."

Melinda Downs can't believe the shooter is the same man who stayed in her Fort Worth house, with she and her family, for the past four months. "This was like Satanic. You just went in and you did all of this stuff. This is not, I mean my God, it wasn't the Aaron we knew," said Downs.

Many people are asking how he could have been hired by a government contractor and even given security clearance, with all the criminal blips on the radar from his past. That subcontractor is now pointing the finger at the company that did the background check on Alexis. The subcontractor says if they would have known then what they know now, they would not have hired him.

The Navy said Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to 2011 and left the service on Jan. 31, 2011.

Alexis was born in Queens, New York in 1979.

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices