In Days Before Navy Yard Shootings, Alexis Bought Shotgun

September 18, 2013

Aaron Alexis, the man police say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, went to a gun store and shooting range in suburban Northern Virginia two days before the attack, an attorney for the shop has told NPR.

On Morning Edition, NPR’s Joseph Shapiro reported that The Sharpshooters Range in Lorton, Va., ran Alexis’ name through the FBI and state of Virginia background check system. Alexis was approved and he purchased a Remington 870 shotgun and about 24 shells, Joe says.

Alexis also rented a rifle and practiced shooting at the shop’s range.

Those are among some of the additional details coming out today about the 34-year-old Alexis, who died at the scene of Monday’s shootings after exchanging gunfire with police.

Tuesday, we posted about:

— The police report filed in August by authorities in Newport, R.I., who said Alexis had told them that three men were using “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations through the ceiling of his hotel room to keep him from sleeping. According to that document, Newport Sgt. Frank C. Rosa Jr. reported the contact with Alexis to the Navy. He said that Alexis claimed to be “hearing voices.”

— How Alexis was given security clearances despite a past that included a “troubled” service record in the U.S. Navy Reserves and “signs of mental instability.”

Also Tuesday, The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that investigators believe Alexis carried the disassembled shotgun in a backpack as he entered the Navy Yard’s Building 197 — then stopped in a men’s room to put the gun together.

Among Wednesday’s other important stories about the shootings and their aftermath:

Navy Yard victim’s wife: ‘I can’t believe this is happening again’

The Post writes that Priscilla Daniels of Washington, D.C., lost her 14-year-old son four years ago — he was “shot and killed … on a D.C. street.” On Monday, her husband, Arthur, was among the 12 victims killed at the Navy Yard.

Update at 10:15 a.m. ET. Two Survivors’ Conditions Upgraded.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center reports that:

“The two patients injured in Monday’s Navy Yard incident who remain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center have both been upgraded from fair condition to good. They are:

  • A Metropolitan Police Department officer with gunshot wounds to the leg.
  • A female civilian with gunshot wounds to the shoulder.

“The third patient — a female civilian with gunshot wounds to the head and hand — was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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