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Aaron Alexis 'Obsessed' With Shooter Games; Friends Brought Him Food During Marathons

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  • aaron alexis
    (Photo: Reuters/Fort Worth Police Department/Handout via Reuters)
    Aaron Alexis, who the FBI believe to be responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in the Southeast area of Washington, DC, is shown in this Fort Worth Police Department handout photo released on September 16, 2013. The 34-year-old gunman opened fire at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington on Monday in a shooting that left 13 people dead at the busy military installation not far from the U.S. Capitol and the White House, officials said. Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, was among the dead and authorities said they were searching for another possible gunman wearing military-style clothing.
  • aaron alexis
    (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
    Police officers stop a vehicle to check identification at the main gate of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, September 17, 2013. Stunned Washington authorities questioned on Tuesday how a U.S. military veteran with a record of brushes with the law could get clearance to enter a Navy Base where he killed 12 people before police shot him dead.
  • navy yard
    (Photo: Reuters/Mike Theiler)
    Metropolitan Police Dept. Chief Cathy Lanier makes remarks on the latest developments on the shootings at the Navy Yard which killed 12, as Michael Monroe of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service listens (3rd R) along with Kenneth Ellerbe, Chief of Washington DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (2nd R), in front of the FBI Field Headquarters in Washington September 17, 2013. The suspect in the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Aaron Alexis, used a valid pass to gain entry to the base, the FBI said on Tuesday.
  • aaron alexis navy yard
    (Photo: Reuters/Tim Sharp)
    A photo of Aaron Alexis, 34, the suspected shooter who was among 13 people killed in the shooting at Washington Navy Yard, is displayed on the phone of Oui Suthamtewakul owner of the Happy Bowl Asian Restaurant, in White Settlement, Texas September 17, 2013.
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By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
September 17, 2013|5:05 pm

Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old former Navy reservist identified as the man behind the Navy Yard shootings in Washington on Monday that killed 12 people, is said to have been obsessed with shooter video games, to the point where friends would even bring him food during marathon sessions.

"He cursed a lot, but I [didn't] see him angry very much," Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, owner of the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, said of the shooter, who he described as a friend and drinking buddy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Suthamtewakul said that sometimes Alexis would play for hours, and he would bring him plates of food during marathon binges.

A number of questions remain behind the deadly incident on Monday that rocked the nation with the latest mass shooting on American soil. Initial reports said that two other men were suspected to have acted with Alexis, but authorities now say they believe he acted alone. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier revealed that the 34-year-old was a military subcontractor and had access to the Navy Yard, though the reasons for him leaving the military were not immediately clear.

Reports on Tuesday noted that Alexis had apparently exhibited signs of mental illness dating back more than a decade, including one recent incident where he claimed to be hearing voices and thought that people were sending him "vibrations" to prevent him from sleeping. Last month, Alexis apparently called the Newport Police Department in Rhode Island to complain of severe hallucinations.

Police have failed to establish a motive for his actions so far, however.

Suthamtewakul noted that as an African American, sometimes Alexis complained about racial bias and said that he was a victim of discrimination. Other than that, Alexis spoke fluent Thai, and made a "positive impression" with customers at Suthamtewakul's restaurant, where he worked for a while.

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One Happy Bowl Thai customer, 37-year-old Christian pastor Jason Williams, even described Alexis as "one of the most polite people I've ever met," and added that the two often spoke civilly about religion issues.

America has suffered through a number of mass-scale shootings in recent times, most notably the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., where a lone gunman fatally shot 20 children and six school staff members. Social commentators have tried to offer a number of different reasons why some people turn to extreme levels of violence – violent entertainment, including video games, has been suggested as one possible influence.

"Gun control proposals now circulating in Washington and in many state capitals don't address a more important issue – the constant stream of violence put forth by the entertainment industry," the Rev. Franklin Graham wrote in a statement in February.

"Every year brings a flood of movies, not to mention cable and television programs, that are filled with violence. Whole segments of America's music industry make their profits from song lyrics that glorify gratuitous violence, and there is seemingly an endless number of video games that are nothing more than murder simulators."

 

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