The 34-year-old former Navy electrician’s mate identified as the gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had been discharged from the service in 2011 after multiple disciplinary infractions, a Navy officer said Monday. Aaron Alexis “had a pattern of misconduct,” the official said.
Alexis, a native of New York, who served in the Navy from 2007 to 2011 as an aviation electrician’s mate 3rd class, entered the base early Monday morning, authorities said, perhaps using another man’s identification card to pass through the gates.
Once inside, officials said, he headed for the massive Building 197, the headquarters of the Navy Sea Systems Command. Armed with three weapons, including an AR-15 assault rifle, he went to the building’s fourth floor, according to officials.
About 8:15 a.m., according to witness accounts and police dispatch recordings, the gunman began shooting down into a crowded atrium that houses an employee cafeteria.
Washington police and Navy security officials engaged in “multiple” exchanges of fire with Alexis over the next two hours, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters, eventually shooting and killing him.
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