Everything We Know About Aaron Alexis, The Man Allegedly Behind The Washington Navy Yard Shooting

Updated: Law enforcement officials said Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist, allegedly killed 12 people Monday. He had been arrested previously on gun-related incidents. Friends told reporters that Alexis was a practicing Buddhist who spoke Thai.

1. Updated - Sept. 17, 11:25 p.m. ET

2. This is Aaron Alexis, the suspected gunman behind Monday morning’s shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard.

3. The Associated Press is reporting that Alexis was being treated for mental health issues.

Law enforcement officials told the AP that Alexis had been suffering from a variety of issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder and had been hearing voices in his head.

The officials said that he had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems.

4. Last month, Newport, R.I., police alerted the Navy that Alexis had called to report he was hearing voices.

Rhode Island police warned the U.S. Navy last month that Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis had reported that people were following him and sending “vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep,” according to the Newport police report.

He told police that he had twice moved hotels to avoid the noise he heard coming through the floor and the ceiling of his rooms.

5. The lawyer for SharpShooters Small Arms Range and gun shop in Lorton, J. Michael Slocum, has released a statement the firearm allegedly used by Alexis.

According to the statement, Alexis had a background check run on him through the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System Database, which he cleared. He does not appear to have any convictions or reported mental health issues.

Prior to his purchase of a Remington 870 shotgun and about two boxes of shells on Sunday, he purchased some ammo and fired it at the SharpShooters shooting range.

6. Alexis previously lived in Fort Worth, Texas.

#BREAKING: #NavyYardShooting gunman identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis from Fort Worth, Texas - Gvt. Flunkie Worker

— newsguy2005 (@newsguy2005)

7. Alexis was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of discharging a firearm in the city limits.

Fort Worth Police Department via Fort Worth Star-Telegram / MCT

8. According to the police report, Alexis was cleaning his gun when it went off and shot through the ceiling of his apartment.

On Saturday 09-04-10 at approximately 1849 hrs I, Officer M Medders 3835 working W237, was dispatched to an apt complex, Orion at Oak Hill Apts, at 2450 Oak Hill Rd in reference to a shots fired call. The details of the call stated “CP STS SHE HEARD A ‘POP’ & SAW SMOKE & DUST; NOW SEES THAT THERE IS A HOLE IN HER FLOOR & ANOTHER IN HER CEILING; BELIEVES SOMEONE JUST SHOT INTO HER APT; DID NOT SEE ANYTHING OR ANYONE; CP HAS MOVED AWAY FROM AREA WHERE HOLES ARE; CONTACT CP”. Upon arrival I met with the witness who was inside her apt and visibly shaken up.

9. In 2004, Alexis was arrested in Seattle for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what he called an anger-fueled “blackout.”

According to the Seattle police report, construction workers had parked their Honda Accord 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 next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home. Alexis later told police that he believed he was being mocked by the construction workers. He also told them that he had an anger-fueled “blackout,” and could not remember firing his gun at the car until after the incident.

10. Alexis was working as a civilian contractor at the Navy Yard.

Officials identify a gunman #NavyYardShooting as 34yo Aaron Alexis of Ft. Worth, TX working as civilian contractor. ID-ed by fingerprints.

— ThomasARoberts (@Thomas Roberts)

11. Alexis used his employee pass to get into the Navy Yard

Alexis was a defense contractor and used his legitimate employee pass to get into the Washington Navy Yard. He worked as an information technology employee with The Experts, a company that was a Defense Department subcontractor on a Marine computer project, authorities said.

12. According to The New York Times, Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007–2011.

Mr. Alexis enlisted as a full-time reservist in May 2007 and left the service in January 2011. He served as an aviation electrician, and the highest rank he achieved was mate third class. From February 2008 to January 2011, he was assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46, in Fort Worth.

The Navy said that Mr. Alexis had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

13. NBC’s Scott Friedman spoke with a former roommate of Alexis, who described a gentle, seemingly nonviolent man.

In Ft. Worth - former roommate of #navyardshooting suspect tells me he can't imagine Aaron Alexis could be responsible.

— NBCDFWScott (@Scott Friedman)

#AaronAlexis former roommate says Alexis had a gun and a CHL but was gentle - not violent.

— NBCDFWScott (@Scott Friedman)

Friends say #AaronAlexis was a practicing Buddhist who helped out around the Buddhist Temple of Ft. Worth. #NavyYardShooting

— NBCDFWScott (@Scott Friedman)

16. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Bill Miller spoke with a former roommate who was in shock that Alexis was capable of the shooting.

After taking questions from a crush of media, Alexis' former roommate says, 'Wait, he's dead? I call him, but he doesn't answer phone.'

— Bill_MillerST (@Bill Miller)

Friend says Alexis learned Thai from friends at temple on Cherry Lane. Says violence is contrary to Buddhism. 'I still don't believe it.'

— Bill_MillerST (@Bill Miller)

18. Nutpist Suthamtewakul, the owner of a local restaurant, said Alexis was like a “big brother.”

Nutpist Suthamtewakul, owner of Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, said he roomed with Aaron Alexis for 3-4 years. Says, 'He's my big brother.'

— Bill_MillerST (@Bill Miller)

19. CNN spoke to another friend who said Alexis played a lot of video games.

Michael Ritrovato said Alexis had recently been frustrated with the civilian contractor about a payment issue. But Ritrovato said his friend never showed signs of aggressiveness or violence, though he played a lot of shooting video games online.

20. A LinkedIn account believed to belong to an Aaron Alexis from Fort Worth, Texas, has been pulled from the site.

Aaron Alexis of Ft. Worth. Google brief caption - LinkedIn appears to have pulled the page.

— benjihana (@Ben Taylor)

21. As of Monday afternoon, at least 12 people are dead. There is no clear motive.


22. The FBI is currently seeking information on Aaron Alexis.

23. According to the Associated Press, this is Alexis’ last known address in Fort Worth, Texas.


24. And New York Police Department officers are entering a Brooklyn brownstone where the gunman’s family reportedly lives.

25. According to a PDF file released by the Navy, Alexis used to live in New York City and was most recently stationed in Fort Worth, Texas, until 2011.

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com