US gunman 'seemed harmless, if really awkward'
By David Crary,APAaron Alexis seems a study in contradictions: an ex-U.S. Navy reservist, a Defense Department contractor, a convert to Buddhism who was taking an online course in aeronautics. But he also had flashes of temper that led to incidents with police over shootings in Texas and Seattle.
September 18, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
A profile has begun to emerge of the man authorities identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at a Navy complex in Washington, D.C. that left 13 people dead, including him. While some neighbors and acquaintances described the 34-year-old Alexis as “nice,” his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Alexis also complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination.
U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Alexis had been suffering from a number of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said. Alexis had been treated since August by the federal Veterans Administration for his mental problems, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was continuing.
The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.
Family members told investigators Alexis was being treated for his mental issues.
At the time of the shootings, he worked for The Experts, a subcontractor on an HP Enterprise Services contract to refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network.
Alexis lived in Seattle in 2004 and 2005, according to public documents. In 2004, Seattle police said Alexis was arrested for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he later described to detectives as an anger-fueled “blackout.” According to an account on the department's website, two construction workers had parked their car in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying. The workers reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home and fire three shots into the rear tires.
Workers at the construction site told police Alexis had stared at them daily for several weeks. The owner of the construction business told police he believed Alexis was angry over the parking situation.