Later that day, Newport Sgt. Frank Rosa Jr. reviewed the incident report and called the Naval Station police and faxed them the report. “They said they would follow up,” Fitzgerald said.
Lisa Rama, a public affairs officer at Naval Station Newport, said base officials were cooperating with the FBI. She declined to comment on whether military police followed up.
The Navy on Tuesday revised its account of Alexis’ departure in 2011. Although the service had originally sought to kick him out with a less-desirable general discharge after he’d been cited for misconduct at least eight times, the Navy instead granted Alexis an honorable discharge when he applied to leave.
The Navy cited Alexis for insubordination in 2008, disorderly conduct in 2009 and extended unauthorized absences between 2008 and 2010, according to a Navy official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the alleged gunman’s personnel record. Alexis was also cited for minor offenses such as a traffic ticket and showing up late.
Throughout his adult life, Alexis had grievances and episodes of anger that stuck in the memories of those around him.
In New York, where Alexis grew up, his manager at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he worked as a part-time clerical assistant from 2001 to 2003, recalled him as someone who held grudges longer and harder than others might.
“Somebody would make a mistake that he thought was a bonehead idiotic mistake, but he’d go on and on about it for weeks,” said Barry Williams, Alexis’ boss in the administrative computing office. “He’s not one of those guys who when they do something like this, everyone says, ‘Oh, he’s so quiet and nice.’ He had an edge.”
In New York on Tuesday, Alexis’ relatives remained behind the closed doors of a large red-tinted brownstone on Putnam Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
Wendy Lopez, 36, who lived in an apartment just below where Alexis grew up in Flushing, Queens, remembered Aaron as the “kid with the basketball,” a polite neighbor and “typical teenager.”
Alexis arrived in Washington around Aug. 25, said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. He had been staying at local hotels since then, most recently at a Residence Inn in Southwest Washington, beginning on Sept. 7.
Last Sunday, Alexis traveled to Lorton in Fairfax County, Va., to a gun shop called Sharpshooters, where he rented a rifle, fired it in the store’s shooting range, passed a background check and bought a Remington 870 shotgun and about two boxes of shells, according to the store’s lawyer, J. Michael Slocum.
Back in Fort Worth, Melinda Downs, owner of M&M Community Barbers, right next to the Thai restaurant where Alexis sometimes waited on tables, said her friend had called her twice in the past couple of weeks, from Rhode Island and from Washington.
She remembers how he used to come into her shop and spin around on the barber chairs. He was, she said, “the sweetest person I’ve ever known.”
“I can’t fathom that he did this. It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Who was this guy?”