Aaron Alexis, the man identified by Washington D.C. police as a suspect in this morning’s tragic attack on a US Navy Yard, was previously arrested by Seattle police in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what Alexis later described to detectives as an anger-fueled “blackout.”
Because Seattle police have received numerous inquiries about the incident, we are posting the details, detective logs, and the original report for the May 6, 2004 case.
At about 8 am that morning, two construction workers had parked their 1986 Honda Accord in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
The victims reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the two rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home north of the construction site.
Officers responded to the scene but were unable to locate Alexis, and no one answered the door at his home.
When detectives interviewed workers and a manager at the construction site, they told police Alexis had “stared” at construction workers at the job site every day over the last month prior to the shooting. The owner of the construction business told police he believed Alexis was angry over the parking situation around the work site.
Detective notes from the incident indicate they made several attempts to contact Alexis by phone and at his work, but eventually found and arrested him outside of his home on June 3rd.
Police then obtained permission to search the home, found a gun and ammunition in Alexis’ room, and booked him into the King County Jail for malicious mischief.
Following his arrest, Alexis told detectives he perceived he had been “mocked” by construction workers the morning of the incident and said they had “disrespected him.” Alexis also claimed he had an anger-fueled “blackout,” and could not remember firing his gun at the victims’ vehicle until an hour after the incident.
Alexis also told police he was present during “the tragic events of September 11, 2001” and described “how those events had disturbed him.”
Detectives later spoke with Alexis’ father, who lived in New York at the time, who told police Alexis had anger management problems associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that Alexis had been an active participant in rescue attempts on September 11th, 2001.
Detectives referred the case to the Seattle Municipal Court for charges.
The Seattle Police Department has no further comment on this 2004 incident. PDFs of the original department records can be downloaded here.