According to the USA Today:
WASHINGTON — The civilian contractor who killed 12 people in Monday’s assault at the Navy Yard sought assistance for mental illness from the Department of Veterans Affairsas recently as a month ago, a federal law enforcement official said Tuesday.
Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist who was killed by police responding to the massacre, reported symptoms of paranoia including hearing voices, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly. It was not believed that he was ever declared mentally ill by a court. Such a finding would have prohibited him from purchasing a weapon.
Alexis died at the scene of yesterday’s shooting. A motive for the attack is not yet known. A few pictures of the gunman are starting to surface online, such as the one posted below by an NBC affiliate:
Also, there is his mug shot from a prior weapons incident, where he was investigated for discharging a weapon inside city limits:
According to the police report, Alexis was cleaning his gun when it discharged and shot through the ceiling of his apartment:
[box type=”shadow”]On Saturday 09-04-10 at approximately 1849 hrs I, Officer M Medders 3835 working W237, was dispatched to an apt complex, Orion at Oak Hill Apts, at 2450 Oak Hill Rd in reference to a shots fired call. The details of the call stated “CP STS SHE HEARD A ‘POP’ & SAW SMOKE & DUST; NOW SEES THAT THERE IS A HOLE IN HER FLOOR & ANOTHER IN HER CEILING; BELIEVES SOMEONE JUST SHOT INTO HER APT; DID NOT SEE ANYTHING OR ANYONE; CP HAS MOVED AWAY FROM AREA WHERE HOLES ARE; CONTACT CP”. Upon arrival I met with the witness who was inside her apt and visibly shaken up.[/box]
In a national address today from Barack Obama, the president pointed out that Alexis targeted both military personnel and civilians. “These men who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots,” Obama said. “They know the dangers of serving abroad. But today they faced the unimaginable violence that they would not have expected here at home.”
Records show that Alexis spent nearly four years in the Navy as a full-time reservist from May 2007 until he was discharged in January of 2011. He was currently employed as a civilian contractor at the Navy Yard.
The LA Times Reports Alexis had a “pattern of misconduct” stating, “The 34-year-old former Navy electrician’s mate identified as the gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had been discharged from the service in 2011 after multiple disciplinary infractions, a Navy officer said Monday.”