Profile of Washington navy yard gunman Aaron Alexis
Former reservist discharged from navy in 2011 after an incident in which neighbour complained he had shot into her apartment
After leaving the reserves, Alexis worked as a waiter and delivery driver at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth, according to Afton Bradley, a former co-worker, quoted by the Associated Press.
Having travelled to Thailand, Alexis learned some Thai and could speak to Thai customers in their native language.
A former acquaintance, Oui Suthametewakul, said Alexis lived with him and his wife from August 2012 to May 2013 in Fort Worth, but that they had to part ways because he was not paying his bills. Alexis was a “nice guy,” Suthametewakul said, though he sometimes carried a gun and would frequently complain about being the victim of discrimination.
Suthametewakul said Alexis had converted to Buddhism and prayed at a local Buddhist temple. Ty Thairintr, a congregant at Wat Budsaya, a temple in Fort Worth, told the AP: “We are all shocked. We are nonviolent. Aaron was a very good practitioner of Buddhism. He could chant better than even some of the Thai congregants.”
Thairintr said that Alexis told him and others at the temple that he had taken a job as a contractor and he indicated to them he was going to go to Virginia. He last saw Alexis five weeks ago. “He was a very devoted Buddhist. There was no tell-tale sign of this behaviour,” Thairintr said.
Hewlett-Packard confirmed that Alexis worked for a subcontractor. It said in a statement: “Aaron Alexis was an employee of a company called ‘The Experts,’ a subcontractor to an HP Enterprise Services contract to refresh equipment used on the navy marine corps intranet (NMCI) network. HP is cooperating fully with law enforcement as requested.”
It said the company was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those who have been affected,” the company said.
On its website, The Experts, whose headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia, describes itself as providing “innovative and mission-critical IT, engineering and litigation professional services for federal, state and local governments and departments”.
It said in a statement: “The Experts would like to express our deepest condolences and sympathies regarding the incident that occurred at the DC naval yards. We are actively cooperating with the FBI and other authorities in relation to the investigation on the suspect. Any additional information we have will be shared accordingly.”
Last night, officers from the New York Police Department cordoned off a section of the tree-lined street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where family of Alexis lives in a brownstone apartment.
A huddle of NYPD officers stood in the road outside the three-storey building, watched by a small crowd of reporters and TV crews. Earlier in the day, Anthony Little, the brother-in-law of the uspect, emerged from the house and told NBC4 the family were “distraught”. He said: “It’s a shocking experience. Nobody expected this. No-one saw it coming. No-one knew anything. So all of this is just shocking.”
Little, who is married to Alexis’s sister, said he had never met him.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which offers online courses in aviation and aerospace, confirmed that Alexis was enrolled as an online student via its Fort Worth campus, started classes in July 2012 and had been pursuing a bachelor’s of science in aeronautics. “We are co-operating fully with investigating officials,” the university said.