Aaron Alexis: a history of angry acts, seeking help, feeling 'slighted' (+video)
Aaron Alexis, the suspected gunman in the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting, was arrested twice for gun violations and was being treated for mental illness. He felt that the Navy didn't respect him, friends say.
(Page 2 of 2)
Alexis was also arrested in 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas, for discharging a gun in his apartment. The bullet went through the floor and ceiling of his upstairs neighbor, who told police she felt threatened by Alexis, according to the Fort Worth police report viewed by The New York Times. Alexis had confronted this neighbor in the parking lot about making too much noise, she told police.Skip to next paragraph
Chelsea Sheasley is the Monitor's Asia Editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine.
In Pictures Tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard
Portrait of Millennials: Call them Generation Unaffiliated
Mass. upskirt photos now illegal as lawmakers keep their promise
'Upskirt' photos legal in Mass., court rules. Not for long, critics say. (+video)
Obama calls Senate rejection of his civil rights nominee 'a travesty' (+video)
Bin Laden kin agreed to speak for Al Qaeda while N.Y. burned, prosecutor says (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The Forth Worth Police Department did not press charges after Alexis told them the gun accidently discharged as he was cleaning it while cooking. The county criminal district attorney issued a statement Monday, saying “it was determined that the elements constituting recklessness under Texas law were not present and a case was not filed.” However, Alexis was asked to leave his Fort Worth apartment, and this incident in Texas played a role in his discharge from the Navy, according to a Navy official, speaking to The Washington Post on condition of anonymity.
3. Was Alexis receiving mental health treatment?
US law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Alexis was dealing with mental health issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and was hearing voices in his head.
The officials said Alexis had been treated by the Veterans Administration since August for mental health problems, but that the Navy had not declared him mentally unfit. Alexis would have lost his security clearance if he had been given that classification.
Family members also told the Associated Press that Alexis was undergoing mental health treatment.
The officials spoke anonymously because of the ongoing criminal investigation.
Alexis was a heavy drinker, although his drinking was "never a problem," Oui Suthamtewakul told The Washington Post. In Texas, Alexis lived with Mr. Suthamtewakul and his wife, Kristi, in exchange for work at their Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in White Settlement.
Alexis also frequently played computer games, according to friends and associates. While living with friends in Fort Worth, he kept three computers in his room and played games “at the nighttime and all day,” driving up the electrical bills, Naree Wilton, a cousin of Mr. Suthamtewakul, told the Los Angeles Times.
4. What were Alexis's interests in Buddhism and Thai culture?
Pat Pundisto, a member of the Buddhist Temple Wat Busayadhammavanara in White Settlement, Texas, told The New York Times that Alexis dated a Thai woman and often attended Sunday services at the temple, where he intoned Buddhist chants and meditated afterward.
Ty Thairintr, a Forth Worth tooling design engineer who says he’s known Alexis for about five years, told the Los Angeles Times that Alexis planned on becoming a Buddhist monk.
"He chanted better [in Thai] than me," he said.
"He was a very devoted Buddhist," Mr. Thairintr's wife, Sasipa, told the Times. "Buddhism teaches forgiveness, not grudges. That's why we're so shocked."
5. Was Alexis unhappy about his Navy service?
According to some friends, Alexis was disgruntled with certain aspects of his military service. Ms. Suthamtewakul told the Los Angeles Times there was "nothing sinister about him," but that Alexis believed that Navy benefits had been withheld from him.
“He just felt slighted by what he was getting each month,” Suthamtewakul said.
Mr. Thairintr said: "He told me he believed he had superior abilities to his co-workers but he didn't get promoted."
"He complained about the rank and file not giving him respect” and felt discriminated against because he was black, Thairintr said.
RECOMMENDED: Tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard