The Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis played violent video games including Call of Duty for up to 16 hours at a time and friends believe it could have pushed him towards becoming a mass murderer.
September 18, 2013
Alexis, 34, who was shot dead on Monday after killing 13 people at Washington’s Navy Yard, also carried a .45 handgun tucked in his trousers with no holster “everywhere he went” because he believed people would try to steal his belongings.
He also felt racially discriminated against, and believed he had been financially “screwed” over a contracting job in Japan at the end of last year, friends said. They also said that he was working in a nearby building when the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center went down following the September 11 terrorism attacks.
The addiction to violent video games and guns was at odds with his devout commitment to Buddhism, which saw Alexis spending half the day every Sunday meditating at the Wat Busayadhammvanaram temple in Fort Worth, Texas over a period of several years. He also spent a month in Thailand in April, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Friends said he appeared to have a “chilled” personality and enjoyed watching American Football on television. He spent last Christmas Day singing karaoke and bursting into Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
The two sides to Alexis’s personality revealed themselves as he spent the last three years living in the Texan suburb of White Settlement.
Much of that was spent in several different homes with his best friend Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, 31, his wife Kristi, 35, and Mr Suthamtewakul’s parents.
Mr Suthamtewakul, who runs the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, described Alexis as being like his “big brother.” He told The Daily Telegraph: “I first met him at the Buddhist temple. He had been in the Navy but he was unemployed. I saw he was struggling with his finances, and I said why not move in and you can just pay the electricity bill? He was doing online school, something about electronic stuff and aircraft
“He never got angry with us. He was always very nice to us. He had a couple of issues with being black. He felt he hadn’t been treated right, not by the Navy, just generally. He didn’t have a lot of friends – me, my wife and family, and people from temple.”