WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS 11 NEWS) – Federal investigators are looking closely into suspected shooter Aaron Alexis’ mental health.
One month before the deadly rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, Alexis called police in Newport, Rhode Island claiming he was hearing three voices of people who were out to hurt him.
In the August 7 report, police quoted Alexis saying the voices followed him to three different hotels and were using, “…Some sort of microwave machine to send vibrations through the ceiling penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep…”
The officer says Alexis told him he worked for a naval subcontractor, and then reported it to the base.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Valerie Parlave, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said agents are trying to figure out if Alexis’ mental health was a factor in the shooting. “We also have personnel from behavior analysis unit assisting in the investigation as we try to determine the motive for the shootings. We continue to look into his past including his mental and criminal histories.”
The Associated Press reports the VA was treating Alexis for paranoia and a sleep disorder. But despite that, Alexis was able to keep his security clearance at the Navy Yard where he worked for a subcontractor.
Parlave said, “He had legitimate access to be at the facility. He had a valid pass to enter the building.”
CBS 11 News also learned that the day before the shooting, Alexis rented a rifle at a gun range 15 miles from the Navy Yard. He then bought a shotgun and 24 shells after passing a federal background check.
One day after the shootings life in southeast Washington, D.C. is starting to get back to normal. Just a few blocks from the Navy Yard, thousands turned out for a double-header baseball game at Nationals Park. Events left fans and a city in need of healing. But before the first game, everyone paid tribute to the 12 victims.
During a somber ceremony Tuesday morning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid a wreath in honor of those killed. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier praised officers who hunted Alexis down inside the complex. “There’s no doubt in my mind they saved numerous lives engaging the way they did.”
FBI officials say Alexis arrived in Washington, D.C. on August 25 and stayed at various local hotels with other employees of the naval subcontractor. Authorities say he checked in at a Residence Inn near the Navy Yard on September 7. Agents have searched the hotel for clues.
Investigators also towed Alexis’ Toyota Prius from the Navy Yard on Tuesday.
So far, the FBI says it has received hundreds of tips about Alexis and the shooting, but it’s still asking for the public’s help in figuring out why the rampage happened.
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