Aaron Alexis, Suspect In Washington Navy Yard Shooting, Was Once Arrested For Shooting Bullet Into Neighbor's Home
The suspect in today’s deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard was once arrested for discharging a firearm into the ceiling of his Texas residence, according to police records.
Aaron Alexis, 34, was arrested in September 2010 after his upstairs neighbor called Fort Worth cops to report that a bullet had been shot into her apartment. The round apparently first traveled through her home’s floor and then the ceiling.
[Alexis was also arrested in mid-2004 for shooting out the tires of a car owned by a construction worker who purportedly “mocked him.” Alexis told cops that an anger-fueled “black out” prompted the shooting. Alexis’s father told investigators that his son suffered from “anger management problems” that were related to post-traumatic stress disorder, perhaps connected to his involvement in rescue work following the September 11 terror attacks. FULL UPDATE BELOW.]
The woman, whose name is not listed in a Fort Worth Police Department report, said that she was “terrified” of Alexis, who had previously confronted her about making too much noise. The neighbor, who was “visibly shaken up” when questioned by police, said that she believed the shooting was “intentional.”
When police interrogated Alexis, who is seen in the above mug shot, he claimed that he was cleaning the weapon when it discharged. Alexis told cops that he was cooking at the time and his hands were slippery as he “began to take the gun apart when his hands slipped and pulled the trigger discharging a round into the ceiling.”
Asked why he did not notify police or check on the welfare of his upstairs neighbor, Alexis said that he “didn’t think it went all the way through since he couldn’t see any light through the hole.” Additionally, “In regards to the noise he said he thought that people would just think it was a firecracker.”
An officer noted that, while inside Alexis’s apartment, a dismantled gun covered in oil could be seen.
The local district attorney subsequently declined to file charges against Alexis.
In early-July, a male roommate of Alexis’s called Fort Worth cops to report his suspicion that Alexis “put unknown substance in gas tank to damage vehicle,” according to a July 5 report.
Alexis, who was killed today during a gun battle with police, was apparently a civilian computer contractor. Records show that Alexis, who was previously a full-time Navy reservist, has used the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Navy officials, Alexis served as a reservist from May 2007 until his January 2011 discharge. Alexis was assigned to a logistics support unit based in Fort Worth and achieved a final rank of Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class.
Alexis was arrested for disorderly conduct in August 2008 in DeKalb County, Georgia. He had been thrown out of a club around 1 AM after “causing damage to the furnishings.” Once outside, he ignored repeated police orders to to stop using profanity (such as “Fuck y’all this is bullshit”). As a result, Alexis was arrested, according to a police citation. He was later released from jail after posting $364 bond (and posing for a booking photo).
UPDATE: Alexis was also arrested in mid-2004 after allegedly firing several shots into the tires of a vehicle parked in front of his Seattle, Washington home, according to a police report. Alexis told cops that he had perceived that the car’s owner--a construction worker from a nearby job site--had “mocked him.”
Police recovered a Glock .45 caliber handgun and ammo that Alexis stored in his bedroom in a residence owned by his grandmother. After waiving his Miranda rights, Alexis told investigators that he believed the victim had “disrespected him” and that perception resulted in a “‘black out’ fueled by anger.” Alexis added that he did not remember pulling the trigger until 30 minutes after the shooting.
Alexis, a New York City native, told police that he “was present during the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 and how those events had disturbed him.”
In a subsequent interview with Alexis’s father, the man told cops that his son had experienced “anger management problems” that family members “believed associated with PTSD.” Alexis’s father “confirmed that his son was an active participant in rescue attempts of September 11th, 2001.”
Alexis, who had a Washington state concealed pistol license, was charged with illegal discharge of a firearm and property damage. The disposition of those counts remains unclear.