NBC 4 New York
The gunman in the mass shooting that left at least 12 dead and more injured at the Washington Navy Yard Monday was born in Queens, lived in the borough decades later and has close family living in Brooklyn. Andrew Siff reports.
The man suspected of gunning down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday worked near the World Trade Center in 2001, when the twin towers were attacked.
Aaron Alexis worked as a clerical assistant at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, six blocks from ground zero, from February 2001 to February 2003, a spokesman told NBC 4 New York.
Alexis' father had told police in Seattle after an arrest there in 2004 that his son was traumatized by 9/11, and claimed he had helped in rescue attempts.
"Those events had disturbed him," the father told Seattle police.
Investigators said there's no evidence Alexis participated in 9/11 rescue operations, law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York on Tuesday.
The college could not say whether Alexis was at work on Sept. 11, 2001, but the spokesman said it was possible.
A woman who knew him in Fort Worth, Texas, told NBC News Tuesday that he had mentioned seeing the buildings collapse that day and was upset about it.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the shooting.
There were other indications that he may have had additional emotional or mental issues. A Rhode Island police report from last month said he told police he could hear people talking to him through the walls, floor and ceiling of his motel rooms, and believed people were keeping him awake by sending vibrations into his body.
Alexis, 34, who also died in the shooting Monday, was born in Queens and enlisted in the Navy in New York City in 2007, according to records.
His mother, his 32-year-old sister and his brother-in-law now live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the brother-in-law said. Another sister, in her late 20s, lives elsewhere.
The family is "very distraught," Anthony Little, the suspect's brother-in-law, said.
"It's a shocking experience, nobody expected this," he said. "No one saw it coming, no one knew anything. So all of this is just shocking."
Alexis lived in Flushing, Queens from at least 2000 to 2002, where he was last registered to vote, according to public records. In October 2000, Alexis applied for a shotgun permit, listing his address as 77th Road in Flushing.
The permit was canceled in 2003 because he failed to renew the permit. It's not clear whether Alexis actually bought a weapon.