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Navy Yard shooting suspect Aaron Alexis: Who is he?

Sep. 16, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Aaron Alexis
This booking photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Aaron Alexis, who arrested in September 2010 on suspicion of discharging a firearm in the city limits. Alexis is suspected to be the shooter at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16. (Fort Worth Police Department / via AP)
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A look at shootings at other military posts

WASHINGTON — A former Navy man opened fire Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, leaving at least 13 people dead, including the gunman. It was the deadliest shooting rampage at a U.S.-based military installation since Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas.
Here is a look at other shootings at military installations in recent years:
July 21, 2013: Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hullman dies following a shooting incident.
April 2013: Fort Knox, Ky. Lloyd Gibert, a civilian employer at a Fort Knox parking lot, was shot to death outside the post's Army Human Resources Command building. Sgt. Marquinta E. Jacobs, was arrested in the killing.
March 21, 2013: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Corp. Jacob Wooley, 23, of Guntown, Miss., is killed by Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, of Pacifica, Calif., military officials said. Lopez also shoots Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley, Calif., to death before he kills himself.
June 4, 2012: Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Neb. Zachari Johnson, 21, of Lincoln, dies at an Omaha hospital after being shot by an Air Force security contractor. Authorities say Johnson was shot when he crashed a car through a base entrance. Air Force officials have said the guard followed procedure when he shot Johnson.
Sept. 18, 2011: Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Lance Corporal Daryl Adams, 22, an avionics technician is shot and wounded in Yuma. The shooting is accidental and the suspect is also a local Marine.
May 19, 2010: MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla. The FBI says military veteran Ronald J. Bullock, 61, of Hanson, Mass. is fatally shot by one of its agents at MacDill Air Force Base. The FBI says Bullock was involved in an altercation at the campground that led to a pursuit by base police. When the FBI agent confronted him, Bullock pulled a knife and the agent shot him.
Feb.22, 2010: Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, Ariz. Gabriel Aguilera, 19, is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and unlawful flight from law enforcement. Aguilera drove a stolen car into Luke Air Force Base, which resulted in the fatal shooting of his 16-year-old passenger.
Dec. 11, 2009: Near Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Airman 1st Class Corey Hernandez, 21, fatally shoots Senior Airman Michael Garvia, 23, of San Benito, Texax in a game of "trust." Hernandez is later sentenced to five years of confinement and given a dishonorable discharge.
Nov. 5, 2009: Fort Hood Army Base, Fort Hood, Texas. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Nadal Hasan, 39, was convicted in August 2013 for killing 13 people and wounding more than 30.
Oct. 13, 2005: Fort Campbell, Ky. Pvt. Nicholas D. Mikel, 21, is accused of firing shots into a group of soldiers; no one is injured. Mikel is later sentenced to 25 years in jail.
— AP
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WASHINGTON — On the surface, Aaron Alexis’ four-year stint in the Navy appears to have been routine.

But as word spread Monday that Alexis is suspected of gunning down a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard here, Navy officials who asked not to be identified said the 34-year-old veteran had a pattern of misconduct.

What may have caused Alexis to go on a shooting spree Monday morning remained a mystery to FBI and Navy officials, as well as acquaintances of the quiet man who split his most recent years between New York, Texas and Washington state.

Valerie Parlave, chief of the FBI’s D.C. field division, appealed for the public’s help to assist in providing information about the shooter’s actions and movements prior to the attack. The FBI posted his photographs on its website.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told CNN that Alexis was serving as an information technology contractor at the time of the shooting. He had enlisted in the Navy in 2007 and rose to the rank of Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class.

From 2008 to 2011, Alexis served with the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron in Fort Worth. He lived in that area and was arrested at least once in 2010 for firing a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. He told police it had been an accident.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement Monday saying that no charges were pursued against Alexis. “It was determined that Alexis was cleaning a gun in his apartment when it accidentally went off,” Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon Jr., said. “No one was injured.”

Seattle police released details late Monday of another shooting incident from 2004 in which Alexis shot the rear tires of a vehicle owned by a construction worker doing work in his neighborhood. Alexis told police he had an anger-fueled “blackout” but added that he felt he had been “mocked” by the workers and “disrespected” by the workers.

Alexis also told police he was present during “the tragic events of September 11, 2001” and described “how those events had disturbed him.” Detectives later spoke with Alexis’ father in New York, who told police Alexis had anger-management problems associated with PTSD, and that he had been an active participant in rescue attempts on 9-11.

Alexis lived most recently in New York City, the Navy said. He had relatives in Georgia and Seattle, according to public reports. He was six feet, one inch and weighed 190 pounds. He last voted in Queens, N.Y., in 2000.

Two law enforcement agents checked on a third-floor walkup apartment in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn Monday night where some of Alexis’ relatives had lived. They would not answer questions.

A third-floor resident who gave his name only as “Barry” said the agents asked him about a 60-year-old woman related to the suspected gunman. An online address database showed that Cathleen Alexis, 60, and Naomi Alexis, 31, may once have resided in the adjacent apartment.

Shirley Johnson, a resident who said she had lived on the building’s second floor since 1984, said she believed the Alexis family had moved out at least several months ago.

The Forth Worth Star-Telegram located a self-described “best friend” of Alexis on Monday who expressed surprise at the news and said Alexis had been working for a computer contractor.

“He lived with me three years,” Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, owner of Happy Bowl Thai, told the newspaper. “I don’t think he’d do this. He has a gun. but I don’t think he’s that stupid. He didn’t seem aggressive to me.”

A short LinkedIn profile of Alexis said he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and worked as a network technician at SinglePoint Technologies.

Alexis received two routine medals for his service in the Navy: the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, which are given to any member of the armed forces serving during a national emergency.

Contributing: Rick Jervis in Austin, Texas; Kevin McCoy in New York City; Kevin Johnson, Jim Michaels and Tom Vanden Brook in Washington, D.C.; and Peter Eisler in McLean, Va.

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