Story Summary

Navy Yard shooting

Shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, at least two gunmen were reported to have opened fire at Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard. The shooting left four people dead, including one of the shooters and injured eight others; two police officers were also reported to have been shot.

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(CNN) — Aaron Alexis, the man who went on the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, was under the “delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by electro-magnetic waves,” the FBI’s Valerie Parlave said Wednesday.

Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said Alexis acted alone and there was no evidence he was targeting particular people.

Alexis, who was 34, went on the rampage September 16, killing 12 people and wounded several others. Chilling video released Wednesday shows Alexis running through hallways with a sawed-off shotgun. He also gained access to and used a Beretta pistol during the shooting.

The investigation indicates that Alexis “was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave said, citing electronic media recovered from the shooter’s belongings.

Phrases were also scrawled onto Alexis’ shotgun, Parlave said. They read: “End to the torment,” “Not what y’all say,” and “Better off this way.”

He also wrote “My ELF weapon,” which is believed to be a reference to “extremely low frequency or ELF electro-magnetic waves.”

Also, the FBI said, a document retrieved from the shooter’s electronic media said: “Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this.”

“ELF technology was a legitimate program for Naval sub-tonal submarine communications,” Parlave said. “However, conspiracy theories exist which misinterpret its application as the weaponization of remote neural frequencies for government monitoring and manipulation of unsuspecting citizens.”

aaron alexis shooting pic

SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department melted down suspected Washington D.C. Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis’ pistol after he was arrested for allegedly firing a gun at a construction worker’s vehicle in the summer of 2004.

According to a police report, the seized gun was stored in an evidence locker for three years following the crime before it was melted.

Alexis allegedly shot at a construction worker’s car during a fight about parking, but he was never charged with a crime.

aaron alexis

Police said he contacted them multiple times during the investigation in an attempt to get his gun back. Detectives did not release the firearm, as they had not received paperwork indicating Alexis’s case had been declined for misdemeanor charges, police said.

The Seattle Police Department said it received a number of inquiries regarding why Alexis wasn’t charged following the Seattle shooting. Police said the case was forwarded to Seattle Municipal Court for misdemeanor charges that — for unclear reasons — were never filed.

The full criminal case file was purged in 2010 per department policy, officials said.

SEATTLE — There are questions about whether the suspect in the Navy Yard shooting should have been charged with gun-related crimes when he lived in Seattle.

Aaron Alexis was living with his grandmother on Beacon Hill in 2004 when he shot the tires of a car parked next door. According to the Seattle police report, the construction worker who owned that car was not inside it at the time and was not hurt. But police say it was a serious incident.

navy yard shooting“It was a pretty dangerous crime,” said police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. “Shooting a weapon at someone’s property, in public, broad daylight.”

Alexis was arrested for property destruction and discharge of a firearm, which are both misdemeanors. According to police records, the case was sent to the Seattle Municipal Court.  But Kimberly Mills with the City Attorney’s Office says their criminal division “shows no record of an SPD report coming in on Aaron Alexis.”

“Right now, what we’re looking at is whose mail truck did it fall off? Did it go over there and not get processed, or did it not leave here? We just don’t know,” Whitcomb said.

No formal charges were filed, so Alexis was released. He went on to join the Navy Reserve, then the government subcontractor The Experts.

They released a statement Tuesday that said: “We enlisted a service to perform two background checks and we confirmed twice through the Department of Defense his secret government clearance. The latest background check and security clearance confirmation were in late June of 2013 and revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation.”

It’s unclear whether Alexis would have gotten that clearance if charges had been filed in 2004. But media were able to uncover his arrest in Seattle, and another gun incident he was involved in in Texas. So there are questions as to how thorough these background checks were.

“All of these events were documented, investigated and discoverable by anyone who wants to know,” said Whitcomb. “An arrest record is a public record.”

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby addressed that issue on CNN.

“We’re taking a look at all his run-ins with the law, to see if anything should have been done differently,” Kirby said.

By Richard A. Serrano

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Just five weeks before he killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, Aaron Alexis told police in Newport, R.I., that he was hearing voices in his head, that he feared three people were going to harm him and that the voices sometimes came through “the walls, floor and ceiling” of a Navy base in Rhode Island where he was working as a civilian contractor.

Alexis, 34, who was killed by police at the end of the rampage Monday, also said the individuals were using “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations through the ceiling of his hotel room to keep him from falling asleep, according to a Newport police report on the Aug. 7 incident that was released Tuesday.

aaron alexisA little more than a month later, on Sunday, Alexis purchased the shotgun he used in the shooting rampage in Washington, D.C., the following day.

In Newport, Alexis told officers that he did “not have a history of mental illness in his family and that he has never had any sort of mental episode,” according to the police report.

The police told him to “stay away” from whoever he thought might be following him.

In his job as a computer technician working for a firm called The Experts, Alexis moved from base to base around the country for several months this year. Officials said Alexis moved to Washington on Aug. 25 to begin working at the Navy Yard.

On Sunday, Alexis visited the Sharpshooters Small Arms Range and gun store in Lorton, Va., a suburb of Washington. There, according to the store’s attorney, J. Michael Slocum, Alexis rented a rifle, bought some ammunition and practiced on the firing range. He then purchased a Remington 870 shotgun and two boxes of ammunition containing 24 shells.

The purchase appears to have complied with Virginia’s laws, which are less stringent than those in some other states.

In 2007, after a 23-year-old student, Seung Hui Cho, killed 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech, then-Gov. Tim Kaine signed an executive order requiring that the names of all people involuntarily committed to mental health facilities be provided to a federal database, which licensed gun dealers are supposed to check before they sell anyone a gun. But Alexis does not appear to have been committed at any point.

The weapon he bought, a short-barreled shotgun that fires with pump action, is commonly known as a “riot gun.” It is popular with military and law enforcement officers, and for home defense. According to manuals for the Remington 870, it is easier to “maneuver around corners and in tight spaces,” and it allows for “easier use by novice shooters.”

FBI officials said Monday that Alexis entered the base with the shotgun, using the pass he had been given as part of his job.

SEATTLE — The gunman who killed 12 people and seriously wounded three others at the Washington Navy Yard was, by his own admission, suffering from mental illness.

Just last month in Rhode Island, police were called to a hotel after Aaron Alexis caused a disturbance there, telling police he was hearing voices and thought someone was following him and sending vibrations through his body to keep him awake.

gunsChristen Sinderman, with the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, feels more needs to be done to make sure guns don’t end up in the hands of someone who is mentally unstable and could potentially hurt themselves or someone else.

“We have to keep working on this because these problems are not going away and, unfortunately, they’re escalating in many cases,” said Sinderman.

Currently in Washington state, mental health records are submitted into a national database used for gun background checks but only if that person has been involuntarily committed by a court to a mental hospital for at least 14 days.

“You need to have some judicial protections for individuals when something like basic constitutional rights are being denied,” said Amnon Schoenfeld, King County mental health director.

Schoenfeld believes tightening the reporting laws could be detrimental in the long run.

“The danger of going in a direction of anyone who has a mental illness shouldn’t be able to get a firearm is that  it might do more harm than good because people would not seek treatment if they knew that just by talking to a therapist they would be reported into some national database,” said Schoenfeld.

The Legislature passed a bill this year that requires the state to create its own database.  Other measures, including background checks at gun shows and for online sales, failed.

“Every time there’s one of these tragedies, it underscores the need to take action.  Whether it’s an initiative here in Washington state or other states, or a continued effort at the federal level, we have to keep working on this,” said Sinderman.

gunsSEATTLE — It’s an issue often debated after incidents of gun violence and mass shootings like Monday’s mass shooting in Washington D.C. — should gun control laws be tighter when it comes to mentally ill individuals purchasing firearms?

According to CNN, accused shooter Aaron Alexis told Newport, Rhode Island, police last month that an individual “had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body,” according to a police report.

That report is related to an investigation into a harassment complaint at a Marriott hotel in Newport.  Alexis said he first heard the people “talking to him through a wall” at a Residence Inn in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he had been staying.

He packed up and went to an unidentified hotel on a Navy base in Newport where he heard the same voices talking to him. He then moved to a third hotel, the Marriott, according to the police report. There, Alexis first told authorities that the three individuals spoke to him through the floor and the ceiling. Alexis said the individuals were using “some sort of microwave machine” that sent “vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep.”

According to the police report, he also told authorities that “he does not have a history of mental illness in his family and that he never had any sort of mental episode.”

Coming up on Q13 FOX News at 4 and 5 p.m., we’ll talk to a local mental health professional about current laws and a group working to toughen gun legislation in Washington state.

By Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Aaron Alexis, the gunman at the historic Washington Navy Yard, entered the base armed with only a shotgun then apparently “gained access” to a handgun after he began shooting, eventually killing 12 people, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation said Tuesday.

In addition, Washington’s police chief described how officers arrived at the scene within minutes, found the building where Alexis was killing and wounding co-workers and exchanged gunfire with him for “at least 30 minutes” before fatally shooting the 34-year-old gunman and bringing the rampage to a stop.

The disclosures by the two top law enforcement officials in the case began to give a clearer picture of the moments after 8:15 a.m. Monday when Alexis, a Navy contractor and former member Navy enlisted man from Fort Worth, entered the base, which is located along Washington’s Anacostia River waterfront.

FULL COVERAGE: Navy Yard shooting

Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said Alexis arrived in Washington around Aug. 25 and began staying in “local hotels,” including a Residence Inn near the base that he moved into on Sept. 7. He had worked at bases in several cities in recent months as part of his job helping to maintain computer systems.

Alexis reported to the base Monday morning, Parlave said, noting that he “had legitimate access to the Navy Yard as a result of his work as a contractor, and he utilized a valid pass to gain entry to the building.” He was carrying with him the shotgun, which he had recently legally purchased from a gun store in a Virginia suburb.

Officials have said the shotgun was purchased from Sharp Shooters in Lorton, Va. The owner of the store refused to comment and directed questions to his attorney. The attorney, J. Michael Slocum, said his firm will respond with a written statement after it first is “reviewed and approved” by federal law enforcement officials.

“Once inside the facility, and after he began shooting,” Alexis “may have gained access to a handgun,” Parlave said. Investigators believe he took a weapon from a base security guard whom he shot. Contrary to previous reports that had been widely circulated, Parlave said Alexis did not use an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

Cathy Lanier, chief of Washington’s Metro Police Department, said police officers were at the Navy Yard within two minutes of the first calls for help. Within four or five minutes, she said, seven police units were going through the gates and trying to determine where the gunfire was coming from.

“There were different buildings, different calls and different building numbers,” she said. After some minutes passed, “we had units outside the building where the shooter was, and they could hear another round of gunfire. They entered immediately, and two of them started giving lookouts and passing information along,” Lanier said.

PHOTOS: At the scene of Navy Yard shooting

“There were multiple engagements with the suspect with multiple agencies before the final shots were fired,” she said. In addition to the D.C. police, units from the Park Police, Navy security, the FBI and other agencies were involved. Lanier estimated that the gunfight lasted at least a half hour, but “not more than an hour.”

Lanier said that once the officers engaged Alexis in the gun battle, “there is no doubt in my mind they saved numerous lives.”

“It was a horrible tragedy,” she added. “We hope it never happens again anywhere.”

Parlave said the FBI believes that Alexis “acted alone.” But Ronald C. Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney in Washington, said federal prosecutors are still investigating to see if others had assisted him in any way, even unknowingly.

“We’re not going to stop until we get answers to these questions,” he said.

SEATTLE — We’re learning more about the suspect involved in the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C.

Police say he was also involved in at least two other gun-related incidents, including one in Seattle.

aaron alexisPolice reports show Aaron Alexis may have lived with his grandmother on Beacon Hill some nine years ago, and police say he shot up a car’s tires over an apparent parking dispute in 2004.

Court records say Alexis had a concealed weapons permit for a .45 caliber Glock pistol.

Seattle police say Alexis fired his gun three times into the tires of a car that was parked next door.  That car belonged to a construction worker who was working next to his grandmother’s house.

Nobody was inside the vehicle, and nobody was hurt.

Alexis then went back into the house after firing one more shot into the air. When cops questioned Alexis about the shooting, he told officers he didn’t remember the incident until an hour afterward and that he had a “blackout” fueled by anger.

Police also interviewed Alexis’ father, who said Aaron suffered from anger management problems possibly stemming from his experience in rescue attempts on Sept. 11, 2001.

During this investigation, Alexis told cops that the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, disturbed him.

Plus, in 2010, cops in Texas say Alexis shot a bullet into his ceiling – and into his upstairs neighbor’s apartment. The police report says it happened over an ongoing argument about a noise complaint

Meanwhile, Alexis’ family members in New York state are struggling to come to grips with Monday’s shooting.

Whatever the reason as to why Alexis wasn’t prosecuted for shooting up the car tires back in 2004, people are going to want answers, arguing that an intervention back then could have saved lives on Monday.

SEATTLE — Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old man suspected of killing a dozen people and injured others in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning, had ties to the Pacific Northwest.

aaron alexisSeattle police arrested Alexis in May 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s car.

According to the police report, construction workers parked the car in the driveway of their work site, which was next to a home where Alexis was staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

The victims reported seeing Alexis walk out of the home, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the two rear tires of their Honda Civic before he slowly walked back to his home, police said.

When detectives interviewed workers and a manager at the construction site, they told police Alexis had “stared” at construction workers at the job site every day a month prior to the shooting and always displayed his gun when walking to his car.

The owner of the construction business told police he believed Alexis was angry over the parking situation around the work site.

Detective notes from the incident indicate they made several attempts to contact Alexis by phone and at his work, but eventually found and arrested him outside of his home on June 3, 2004. Police then obtained permission to search the home, found a gun and ammunition in Alexis’ room, and booked him into the King County Jail for malicious mischief.

Following his arrest, Alexis told detectives he perceived he had been “mocked” by construction workers the morning of the incident and said they had “disrespected him.” Alexis also claimed he had an anger-fueled “blackout,” and could not remember firing his gun at the victims’ vehicle until an hour after the incident.

Alexis also told police he was present during “the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001,” and described “how those events had disturbed him.”

Detectives later spoke with Alexis’ father, who lived in New York, and he told police Alexis had anger-management problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and that Alexis had been an active participant in rescue attempts on Sept. 11, 2001.

The case was referred to the Seattle Municipal Court, but the charge was later dropped and the case was deleted from court records a year later.

Records show Alexis was involved in a two-car collision on northbound Interstate 405 in March 2005. Records show he had no insurance at the time. He was fined $600.