Suspected Navy Yard Shooter Received Honorable Discharge
Scott Friedman, NBC 5 Investigates
NBC 5 Investigates obtained reports that shed light on Aaron Alexis' life in his final months before he went on the rampage that left 13 dead at the Washington Navy Yard.
The former Navy reservist who is suspected of gunning down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had a string of misconduct problems during his nearly four years in the military, but he received an honorable discharge, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The officials said that Aaron Alexis, 34, had bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and was sometimes absent from work without authorization.
The offenses occurred mainly when he was serving at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, from 2008-2011, and were enough to prompt Navy officials to grant him an early discharge through a special program for enlisted personnel.
NBCDFW has learned Alexis served four years in the Navy after enlisting in New York in May 2007. He graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., as an airman recruit, and served for four years.
He eventually became an aviation electrician's mate, a Petty Officer Third Class, who served on active duty at Fort Worth's NASJRB until he was honorably discharged on Jan. 31, 2011.
Officials said the bad conduct was enough to make it clear Alexis would not be a good sailor, but not enough to warrant a general or less-than-honorable discharge. They also did not involve criminal offenses, so did not trigger any court-martial proceedings.
The officials also said that his brushes with civil law enforcement, including what has been described as an accidental discharge of a weapon in his home and an "anger-fueled blackout" in Seattle , were also not enough to block an honorable discharge.
While enlisted, Alexis received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his record publicly.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth