SPD Melted Down Navy Yard Gunman’s Pistol Following 2004 Arrest

Since releasing information last week about a 2004 Seattle Police Department investigation of suspected Washington D.C. Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis, SPD has received a number of inquiries about why Alexis was not charged for firing a gun at a construction worker’s vehicle. After researching the case, here’s what we know:

According to Seattle Police Department records, in June 2004, detectives forwarded the case to Seattle Municipal Court/the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor charges.

During the course of the case, Aaron Alexis repeatedly contacted detectives, asking police to return his firearm seized during the investigation.

Detectives did not release the firearm, as they had not received paperwork indicating Alexis’s case had been declined for misdemeanor charges.

The gun was held in the Seattle Police Department’s evidence unit until 2007, when it was melted down.

In 2010, the full criminal case file—containing evidence logs, witness statements, and other details from the case—was purged from SPD records in keeping with typical department procedures. The initial police report and detective follow-up notes detailing Alexis’ initial arrest were retained by the department, as is common with arrest reports.

Last week, the Seattle Police Department released the police report and detective follow-up records. Those documents can be found online here.