PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The man believed to be behind a deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia has a criminal history that includes ties to the Pacific Northwest.
Thirty-four-year-old Aaron Alexis still has family in the Seattle area.
Federal agents and officers arrived at the Seattle home of Alexis’ grandmother Monday — just hours after Alexis is believed to have gone on a shooting rampage through the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. The FBI reports Alexis used a valid pass to get onto the Navy Yard Monday morning.
Alexis’ brother-in-law told KIRO-TV Monday that the suspect was not close to the family. Still, brother-in-law Anthony Little said, “no one saw it coming. No one knew anything. Shocking.”
Authorities now believe one person — Aaron Alexis — was responsible for the shooting that left 13 people dead, including Alexis. The victims range in age from 46-years-old to 73-years-old.
Alexis used to live in the Pacific Northwest. While living in Seattle nearly a decade ago, Alexis was accused of becoming enraged with construction workers who parked outside his home.
Police reports from 2004 show Alexis told officers he took his gun and shot out the tires of one of those worker’s cars in an “anger fueled” blackout. He reportedly told police the construction workers were mocking and disrespecting him, but said he did not remember firing his gun. Alexis was arrested and charged with Malicious Mischief.
At the time his father told police Alexis had anger management problems associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and that Alexis had helped in rescue efforts after the 9-11 attacks.
A friend who lived with Alexis for four years said the former Seattle man did have a gun but was not known to be aggressive.
“He’s a good guy,” said Oui Suthamtewakul. “…[There was] no sign that he was going to shoot someone.”
From 2007 to 2011, Alexis was a Navy reservist and worked recently as a Department of Defense contractor. As of Monday night it’s still not clear what his motive was for going on a shooting rampage.
“It was like ‘pow, pow, pow,’” said Naval Yard employee and witness Patricia Ward. “Then it was like, ‘pow, pow, pow.’”
The Navy Yard is about three and a half miles from the White House in Washington, D.C. Authorities said the shooting spree does not appear to be terrorism related.
– KIRO-TV in Seattle and KOIN Reporter Joel Iwanaga contributed information used in this report.
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