Aaron Alexis, 34, of Texas IDed as Suspect in Washington Navy Yard Shooting: Reports

September 16, 2013 2:49 pm Last Updated: September 16, 2013 5:51 pm

Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas, was identified as the shooting suspect in the rampage that killed 13 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.

The Associated Press, citing law enforcement sources, confirmed Alexis was the alleged gunman. It is unclear what his motive was.

NBC News reported that officials identified him via fingerprints.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Alexis kicked out of the military in 2011 as a result of a 2010 gun arrest in Fort Worth. A 2010 police report said he was arrested when his gun discharged and shot through the ceiling of his home. The Seattle Police Department also said he was arrested in 2004 in Seattle for an “anger-fueled” shooting, taking out the tires of a man’s vehicle.

In Monday’s incident, the suspect allegedly entered the base with another man’s ID card who used to work there, officials said. The name of the man whose ID card was found is now being questioned by the FBI, which took the lead in the investigation earlier on Monday.

There is no information on a connection between Alexis and man whose name was on the ID card he used.

He allegedly shot the security guard with a shotgun and proceeded on through the building. He was also seen with an AR-15 rifle and a semiautomatic 9mm pistol, witnesses told the broadcaster.

The gunman was killed after he fired on a police officer and got into a shootout with law enforcement officials.

NBC Washington reported that Alexis was arrested by the Fort Worth Police Department in 2010 on firearms charges. The Fort Worth Police Department listed a document with the name Aaron Alexis on its website, saying he was arrested in Sept. 4, 2010. 

Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, owner of Happy Bowl Thai in White Settlement, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Alexis was his “best friend.”

“He lived with me three years,” Suthamtewakul added. “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.”

The paper reported that Alexis was in the Navy between 2007 and 2011.

Alexis grew up in Brooklyn with his mother and father, his aunt Helen Weeks told the Washington Post.

“We haven’t seen him for years,” Weeks said. “I know he was in the military. He served abroad. I think he was doing some kind of computer work.”

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a 2 p.m. press conference that 13 people were shot and killed in the incident, including the shooter.

Whether it was a terrorist act, Gray said, “We don’t have any reason to think that at this stage.” 

A shelter-in-place was also put in place around the Navy Yard.

President Barack Obama released a statement about the shooting.

“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It’s a shooting that targeted military and civilian personnel,” Obama said.

“These are men and women going to work, doing their job protecting all of us,” Obama added. “They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

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