Alleged Navy Yard Gunman Was Treated by the VA for Mental Illness

Naval officers  stand guard inside the gate of the closed Navy Yard Tuesday. Naval officers stand guard inside the gate of the closed Navy Yard Tuesday. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

On Monday afternoon, officials identified 34-year-old Aaron Alexis as the deceased gunman in the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting. Alexis, a Navy contractor, lived in Texas until recently. He was killed in a "running gun battle with police" responding to the shooting, according to the AP.

As is the pattern with early news gathering following a tragic mass shooting, more and more eyes are now focused on Alexis, in an attempt to understand why the deadly tragedy occurred. And while early reporting on major breaking news events has a history of digging up substantial misinformation, The FBI's public statements, along with their search for more information on the shooter, has provided a pretty good starting point. So here, so far, is the incomplete picture of Alexis: 

What we know: 

Update (9/17): According the Associated Press, Alexis was treated by the Veterans Administration for "serious mental illness," including paranoia, sleep disorders, and delusions like 'hearing voices.' He was also reported discharged from the Navy Reserves honorably, but after a "pattern of misconduct."

He was discharged from the military in 2011. Alexis was a full-time military reservist from 2007 until 2011. The Navy released a summary of his military records on Monday, which outlines his time there. Here's more from the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman: 

Alexis, whose home of record is listed as New York City, was a Navy aviation electrician's mate 3rd class. From February 1, 2008 until his detachment from the Navy on January 31, 2011, Alexis was assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 46, in Fort Worth, Texas....According to a Navy document, Alexis is not listed as having served overseas, but is listed as receiving the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. 

While his last known residence was Fort Worth, Alexis was born in Queens, N.Y.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire.  

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