The suspected gunman in the Washington Navy Yard shootings is Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old
Fort Worth native who once lived in Forth Worth, NBC News is reporting. He was killed today, although there's no word yet on how. NBC reports that he was able to infiltrate the Navy Yard by using the ID card of a current employee.
The Associated Press confirmed Alexis' identity with police in Washington, DC.
NBC also uncovered Alexis' arrest record in Tarrant County: In 2010, he was put behind bars on suspicion of discharging a firearm.
The woman who called the Fort Worth Police Department on Alexis back then was his upstairs neighbor at the Orion at Oak Hill Apartments, at 2450 Oak Hill Road in Fort Worth. The neighbor told police at the time that she was "terrified" of Alexis. She believed that he had intentionally shot at his ceiling to aim at her, though he told police that his gun had discharged accidentally. He wasn't charged with any crime related to the shooting.
WFAA reports that Alexis was in Fort Worth up until two years ago, when he was stationed at the local Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base. According to an old roommate WFAA interviewed, Alexis left the Navy sometime between two to three years ago. At the time of his death, he had been working as a civilian contractor in Washington DC, media outlets are reporting.
Alexis is suspected of opening fire this morning inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing at least 12 people. But while Alexis is dead, he may not have been the only shooter.
Hours after the rampage began, police said two other shooters may have been involved, the Washington Post reports, though one of the suspects was later cleared by city officials.
Washington, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray said today that no motive is known.
Update, 3:41 p.m: The Tarrant County District Attorney's office has confirmed that Alexis was arrested on Sept. 4, 2010 by Fort Worth police on accusations that he had recklessly discharged a firearm. In a statement released to the media, the DA's office sticks with the story that Alexis told police, that his gun just went off accidentally as he cleaned it. No case was ever filed. "The elements constituting recklessness under Texas law were not present," the DA's office says.
Update, 4:00 p.m: DC Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray now put the number of dead as "at least 13," including Alexis.
Update, 4:35 p.m: The Washington Post got in touch with Alexis' aunt Helen Weeks and reports that he grew up in Brooklyn with his mother and father.
"We haven't seen him for years," Weeks told the Post. "I know he was in the military. He served abroad. I think he was doing some kind of computer work."
The Post also viewed a summary of his personnel records and found that he was a full-time reservist in the Navy from May 2007 until January 2011. He was then discharged.
The FBI says that Alexis was born in Queens.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.