Shocked aquaintances say the Washington Navy Yard gunman was a nice guy.
Aaron Alexis, a Navy reservist and native of Brooklyn, New York, has been identified as the gunman behind the shootings at the Washing Navy Yard. His rampage killed 13 people and wounded several others. The tragic incident dominated the news all day and shut down a portion of nation's capital.
Alexis died at the scene in a shootout with police.
The 34-year-old was recently hired as a civilian contractor for the Navy, but may have used another employee's identification card to gain access to the military facility shortly before 8:30 a.m. He was reportedly armed with a rifle, an AR-15 and a handgun.
The shots came without warning.
"No words. He raised the gun and started firing," a Navy Yard employee told NBC News.
Formerly a Naval petty officer, 3rd class, Alexis worked on aviation electrical engineering systems at the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron in Fort Worth, Texas, the Dallas Morning News reports. He enlisted in 2007 and left the service in 2011. There is speculation that it may have been related to misconduct.
Today's shootings weren't his first brush with the law. Alexis was arrested in 2010 after a sending a bullet through the floor of an upstairs neighbor's apartment. The neighbor believed the incident was intentional, but Alexis claimed the gun discharged accidentally while he was cleaning it, according to the Dallas newspaper. No charges were filed.
Kevin McDaniel, who owns a furniture store next to a restaurant where Alexis sometimes helped out, described the gunman as "such a nice guy," who was excited about his move to Washington.
"He seemed like he was real happy and excited about what was going on," McDaniel told the publication.
The FBI is asking that anyone with information on Alexis call 800-CALL-FBI.
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(Photo: AP Photo/FBI)