Navy Yard Gunman Practiced Shooting Days Before Rampage
SEATTLE (AP) — The man identified as the shooter in the Washington Navy Yard slayings had been arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car in what he described as an anger-fueled "black out."
Two construction workers building a new home told police that Aaron Alexis walked out of a home next door on May 6, 2004, pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired three shots into the rear tires of their parked car.
Alexis later told police he thought the victims had "disrespected him" and "mocked him" earlier that morning after he discovered that his own vehicle had been tampered with. Alexis also told detectives he didn't remember firing his weapon until about an hour later, according to the police report.
Seattle police said in a statement Monday that detectives later spoke with Alexis' father, who told police Alexis had anger management problems associated with PTSD, and had participated in rescue attempts on Sept. 11, 2001.
When police interviewed the construction workers and manager in 2004, they told police Alexis had stared at the construction workers every morning for about 30 days prior to the shooting. The owner of the construction business said he believed Alexis was angry over the parking problem outside the construction site, according to Seattle police.
Alexis was booked into King County Jail on June 3, 2004, after police made several attempts to find him, records show.
Court records show he had a hearing and was released on the condition he not have contact with any of the construction workers. A message left for the attorney who represented him at that hearing, Raymond Connell, was not immediately returned.
Seattle police said Monday the case was referred to Seattle Municipal Court for charges of property damage and discharge of a firearm.
There's no record that he was ever prosecuted, and a spokeswoman for the Seattle City Attorney's Office, Kimberly Mills, said her office never received the report from police so did not review it for possible charges.
According to public documents, Alexis lived in Seattle in 2004 and 2005. He voted in 2004 and received several traffic violations in the Seattle area.
Nobody answered the door Monday at a home in south Seattle where Alexis lived at the time. The home is near the end of a dead-end street that backs up against Interstate 5, sits under heavy airplane traffic and is across from a park marred by graffiti.
Seattle police conducted a welfare check at the home Monday where at least one relative of Alexis resides. Officers said the family was trying to sort through what happened and didn't want to speak publicly.
Neighbors said two older women lived in the home.
Juan Martinez, 32, lives next door and said he has had brief, friendly encounters with his neighbors but hasn't seen any male relatives at the home or heard of them mentioned. He's lived in the area for five years.
Associated Press writer Mike Baker contributed to this report.