WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Officials: Gunman treated for mental health issues

WASHINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - U.S. law enforcement officials are telling The Associated Press that the Navy contractor identified as the gunman in the mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said.

Aaron Alexis, 34, had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation in the case was continuing. The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance that Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.

Family members told investigators that Alexis was being treated for his mental issues.
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Investigators say the motive for Monday's mass shooting at Washington Navy Yard remains a mystery.

After law enforcement officers spent much of the day Monday looking for other possible gunmen, police now say they "feel comfortable" that the shooter acted alone.

He's been identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old defense contract employee and former Navy reservist. Twelve people were killed before police shot Alexis to death.

The shooting was the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Law enforcement officials say gunman Aaron Alexis carried three weapons at the Navy Yard: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a handgun he took from an officer at the scene.

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Investigators are building a profile of the lone gunman in Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy yard.

Aaron Alexis is being described as a Buddhist convert, but someone known to have flares of rage.

The 34-year-old former Navy reservist had prior run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings. Police in Seattle say Alexis was arrested there in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout." The other incident occurred in Texas in 2010.

While some neighbors and acquaintances describe Aaron Alexis as "nice," his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the Sept. 11 attacks. He also complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination.

Alexis and a dozen victims were killed in yesterday's attack.


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