Authorities continue to gather information about 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, the man accused of fatally shooting 12 people Monday morning at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.
Alexis was armed with an AR-15, a rifle and a semi-automatic Glock when he went on a shooting rampage around 8:20 a.m. ET, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. The official said Alexis made his way to an atrium at the Naval Sea Systems Command and began shooting. Alexis later died in a gun battle with authorities.
Authorities said Alexis was born in Queens, New York, but later lived in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to U.S. Navy records, Alexis enlisted on May 5, 2007, and left the service on January 31, 2011. While in the Navy, Alexis achieved the rank of aviation electrician’s mate 3rd class, working on aircraft electrical system, records show. He received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Alexis was discharged after a “pattern of misconduct,” a U.S. defense official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. However, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said Alexis was recently an IT contractor for the military. A Hewlett-Packard spokesman said Alexis was an employee of a company called "The Experts," a subcontractor to an HP Enterprise Services contract to refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) network.
Alexis also had prior run-ins with the law. He was previously arrested by Seattle police in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a vehicle. According to the police report, Alexis was upset about a car that was legally parked near his grandmother’s home.
Alexis told police he perceived the victim had disrespected him earlier in the day. Alexis said he had a “blackout” fueled by anger and didn’t remember shooting his gun until about an hour later. Alexis was booked with malicious mischief, according to the police report.
The police report also said Alexis told authorities he was present during the events of September 11, 2001, and how those events had disturbed him.
Six years after the tire shooting, Alexis had another incident involving a firearm. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, police responded to a residence on September 4, 2010. When officers arrived, a woman claimed someone fired a shot through her apartment. The woman told authorities that Alexis, who was her downstairs neighbor, confronted her days earlier about making too much noise.
When authorities later questioned Alexis, he told them that he was cleaning his gun when it went off.
Friends of Alexis said they can’t believe the man they know could be responsible for the shooting rampage. Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, the owner of Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, told CNN’s Ed Lavandra he was a former roommate of Alexis.
Suthamtewakul said Alexis befriended him and taught him the ways of American culture. He said Alexis was a fluent Thai speaker who attended a Buddhist temple near the restaurant. He also said Alexis helped out at the restaurant by waiting tables.
”I can’t believe he did this,” Suthamtewakul said. “He never showed any sign of violence.
Michael Ritrovato, another friend, said Alexis claimed he wasn’t paid properly by a contractor for a months-long trip to Japan. Ritrovato said he believed that frustration may have played a role in Monday's shooting.