The gunman

SUSPECT: Aaron Alexis, 34, had been arrested twice over firearms before the navy yard shooting on Monday.


    Sep 18, 2013

    The gunman

    A CONTRADICTORY picture emerged of the suspect in the deadly Washington Navy Yard rampage. He meditated at a Buddhist temple, yet spent hours playing assault-themed video games. He didn't strike friends as violent, yet was arrested for firing his gun in anger.

    One morning in 2004, according to a Seattle police report, Alexis walked out of his grandmother's home, pulled a .45-calibre pistol from his waistband and fired three rounds in the direction of a construction worker's car - two at the rear tyres and one into the air.

    He was arrested and told police that he had suffered an anger-fuelled blackout and could not remember firing the weapon until about an hour after the episode.

    He was also arrested in White Settlement, Texas, on Sept 4, 2010, for discharging a firearm, after an upstairs neighbour in his apartment complex called the police to report that somebody had shot through her floor and ceiling, missing her by only a few metres.

    Mr Anthony Little, Alexis' brother-in-law, told reporters on Monday in New York that it had been five years since his wife, Ms Naomi Alexis, had spoken to her brother.

    "No one saw it coming, no one knew anything, so all of this is just shocking," he said.

    In recent years, Alexis dated a Thai woman and began showing up regularly at Wat Busayadhammavanara, a Buddhist temple in White Settlement, Texas. He had Thai friends, adored Thai food and said he always felt drawn to the culture, said temple member Pat Pundisto.

    Mr Michael Ritrovato, 50, a friend of Alexis, said: "I can't fathom (Alexis) pointing a gun at someone and shooting them."

    Still, he said that the 34-year-old "did play video games a lot, the shooting kind, and...he was pretty good at it."

    From 2007 to 2011, Alexis was a full-time reservist in the Navy, serving as an aviation electrician's mate. During his time in the service, he exhibited a "pattern of misbehaviour", Navy officials said, but declined to elaborate.