Washington Naval Yard gunman Aaron Alexis called police to come to the Rhode Island hotel where he was staying just six weeks ago because he said he was hearing voices speaking to him “through the wall, flooring and ceiling.” Alexis served full time as an aviation electrician in the U.S. Navy Reserve from May 2007 to January 2011 and received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Alexis, who told police he had moved into three different hotels on the night of August 7th because he was trying to escape from the microwave vibrations, added that two black men and a black woman were following him and keeping “him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations to his body” through a microwave.
Lt. William Fitzgerald of the Newport Police said Alexis told the police he “had never felt anything like this before,” and that “he was worried these people were going to harm him.” Fitzgerald added that Alexis told police that he had no history of mental illness, so police simply said to stay away from the people following him.
Yet law enforcement officials said Tuesday that Alexis had previously asked for treatment for paranoia, insomnia and possible schizophrenia from the Veterans Administration. The New York Times reported he had suffered mental issues for years. He was investigated for firing his gun through his ceiling in Texas and shooting a car’s tires in Seattle.
Even though Alexis had given numerous signs of mental illness, the Navy never declared him mentally unfit. By the time of the massacre, Alexis was licensed to purchase firearms and was given “secret’ security access because he had worked as a Naval contractor. He had been working in 2012 for an independent contractor called the Experts at half a dozen military bases, left the Experts in January 2013 to attend school, then returned in July, when he received secret clearance from the Defense Department.
An anonymous Navy official told the Washington Post that Alexis had at least eight misconduct charges during his service from 2007 to 2011, including insubordination, disorderly conduct and many unauthorized absences.