Aaron Alexis: What you need to know about the Navy Yard shooter

News of the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. yesterday left much of the world shocked and horrified, with everyone wondering two things: What kind of person could've possibly behind this terrible crime and why? Now, new disturbing details about Aaron Alexis, the now-deceased gunman who killed 12 people during his rampage, are surfacing.

Authorities do not yet have a motive, but as they revealed at a press conference yesterday, the FBI is working to gather as much information as possible as they can about the shooter's past--including his previous brushes with the law. Here's what we know so far:


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  1. Alexis, 34, was born in Queens NY, but his last known residence was in Forth Worth, Texas.

  2. He joined the Navy as a reservist in 2007 and got his rank in 2008. He worked as an aviation electrician, but was dismissed from service for a series of misconduct issues. Most recently, he worked as an information technology employee with The Experts, a company that was a Defense Department subcontractor on a Marine computer project, authorities said. Though it's unclear if he worked at the Navy Yard full-time, he did use a legitimate employee pass to get in yesterday.

  3. He has been arrested twice in the past. The first time was in 2004 in Seattle for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what Alexis called "an anger-fueled blackout." The second time was in 2010 in Fort Worth for recklessly discharging a firearm (he reportedly accidentally shot into a neighbor's apartment while cleaning his gun).

  4. Various outlets have spoken to several of his friends, including a former roommate who described Alexis as "gentle" and a practicing Buddhist and expressed complete shock that he was behind the shooting.

  5. Alexis was being treated for mental health issues, according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement officials said that Alexis suffered from a variety of conditions, including paranoia, a sleep disorder, and had recently been hearing voices in his head. He started being treated in August by the Veteran's Administration.

Anyone with additional information is being urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Image via Fort Worth Police Department

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