Aaron Alexis named as Navy Yard shooter, officials say
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Federal law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 13 people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.
The two officials spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One of those officials says Alexis was a 34-year-old from Texas. He is believed to have a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit.
He was a full-time Navy reservist, based in Texas, when he left service in 2011.
Alexis had been working for the fleet logistics support squadron No. 46, in Fort Worth, Texas. The Navy says his home of record was New York City.
The military reports Alexis enlisted on May 5, 2007 and received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal – one for servicing during a time of national emergency, and another for serving post-9/11.
That official says Alexis is believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice or if that person's ID card was stolen.
The 34-year-old was arrested in 2010 for shooting a gun into a neighbor’s apartment, and was also arrested after shooting out a contractor’s tires in Seattle back in 2004. According to the Seattle Police Department, when police arrested Alexis, he told police he shot out the tires because the victim “had mocked him earlier” after his vehicle had been tampered with.
He also told police he suffered from an “anger-fueled” blackout and didn’t remember pulling the trigger, the report states.
The Seattle police called Alexis’ father, who said Alexis suffered from anger management problems because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder possibly linked to his recovery efforts at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City.
But according to one friend, the news is a shock.
"It would never have ever crossed my mind that he would be capable of something like that -- he seemed like the kind of guy that would just, you know, he liked to have weapons but he never acted like he would hurt anyone," said friend Michael Ritrovato.
Defense officials say Alexis was currently working as a defense department contractor, but it's not clear if he was assigned at the military base in southeast D.C.
Defense officials say Alexis was working as an information technology contractor, but it was not known which company employed him. As a contractor, he could have had a badge that might have gained him access to the base. Alexis was a former Navy reservist, serving from 2007 to early 2011.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also says he was an online student pursuing a bachelor's degree in aeronautics. He started classes in July 2012.
At one point, Alexis had also worked at a Thai restaurant in a Dallas suburb, and friends say he spoke Thai and was a Buddhist.
At a Monday night press conference, it was confirmed that the description of another possible shooter has been lifted, ruling out the suspect in olive drab. MPD does continue to pursue the possibility of a second suspect, though the department is "comfortable that we have the one person responsible for loss of life today."
The department still has not officially ruled out terrorism and is still not certain of the motive. Alexis had legitimate access to Navy Yard due to his work as a contractor and used a valid pass or ID card.
As of Monday night, the shelter in place order has been lifted.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.