(WASHINGTON) — Several weeks before Aaron Alexis opened fire inside of the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, he was kicked out of a military housing complex in Virginia after complaining of too much noise coming from the linen closet, ABC News has learned.
It’s unclear if that sparked a series of troubling and bizarre encounters with law enforcement and total strangers in the days that followed.
In the early days of August, Alexis was living at the Naval Bachelor Enlisted Quarters in Norfolk, Va., but he complained of hearing noise coming from the linen closet there and was ultimately forced to leave, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told ABC News.
It was unclear whether there was any follow-up from the Navy, according to a federal law enforcement official.
About the same time, Alexis allegedly had a run-in with a family waiting to fly home to Alabama from Norfolk.
On Aug. 4, Glynda Boyd and her family were on their way back from a family reunion when a man she believed was Alexis came out of nowhere inside the airport in Norfolk and accused them of laughing at them.
“He stood in front of us,” Boyd told ABC News. “He was no more than two feet away from us, and he would just keep saying, ‘Is she laughing at me?” And we were like, ‘No.’ Then he just got angry….You could tell his behavior, something wasn’t right with him mentally.”
Three days later, Alexis called Newport, R.I., police with a strange story about hearing voices in his head and being under surveillance by shadowy forces after an altercation at a Virginia airport.
The public already knows much of what followed — including trouble-filled stays at a Marriott in Newport, R.I., visits to a Veterans Affairs medical facility there and then a trek to the Washington, D.C., area.
Once authorities identified Alexis as the suspect in the rampage on Monday, they immediately ran his credit card to look at his past purchases. That search revealed he had rented an AR-15 rifle and then bought the Remington 870 shotgun he brought with him that morning, according to sources. On or about the same day, Alexis also bought a hacksaw from an area Home Depot, the sources said.
The gun and hacksaw purchases could show patterns of planning and speak to Alexis’ state of mind, sources said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Tracy Bloom & Chip Yost, CNN
John Clyde, KSL.com