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Investigators Look into Suspect Navy Yard Gunman's Past

Police believe only one gunman was involved in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in which more than a dozen people died.
WASHINGTON D.C -- Police believe only one gunman was involved in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in which more than a dozen people died. Authorities are now looking into the suspected gunman's past.

There's no question about how 34-year-old Aaron Alexis got into the navy yard. "Alexis had legitimate access to the Navy Yard as result of his work as a contractor," explains Valerie Parlave from the FBI Washington Field Office.

The question is why?

Police say he shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. For much of the day, authorities feared one or two other suspects might be involved. "

We have exhausted all means to eliminate that possible last suspect, so we do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible," says D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Friends of Alexis say the shootings are out of character.

"I know he was a practicing Buddhist, that's where he and my husband met, at the Buddhist temple just down the street. and he was very caring and very helpful and very friendly," says friend of shooting suspect Kristi Suthamtewakul.

But, other reports show a different side to Alexis: a 2004 arrest in Seattle for shooting out the rear tires of a car in what he later called an anger-fueled "blackout"; a 2010 arrest in Fort Worth, Texas, for firing a gun through the ceiling of an apartment (he told police he was cleaning the gun when it went off.); and the Washington Post reports Alexis was arrested in Georgia in 2008 for disorderly conduct. Alexis was a Navy Reservist until he was discharged, following what the navy calls "a pattern of misconduct."

Over the summer, Alexis called a friend in Texas while working as a military contractor at several Navy Offices.

"He was wondering if I could help him out a little bit financially, because they were slow to pay. the company did not pay him what they said they were going to," says friend of shooting Suspect Michael Ritrovato.

Last week, Alexis started working at the Washington Navy Yard where the shootings took place. Authorities say Alexis was shot and killed during an encounter with security, leaving a total of 13 people dead and eight people injured. Earlier reports had indicated as many as 14 wounded.
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