Reuven Fenton, Rebecca Harshbarger and Carl Campanile
September 17, 2013
Aaron Alexis was a practicing Buddhist but was hardly Zen — he had a hair-trigger temper that landed him behind bars several times. The Navy vet, who gunned down 12 people in Washington, DC, Monday, before being killed, was busted for incidents such as shooting another man’s truck tires and firing a round into a neighbor’s apartment. The New York native blamed the first incident on the stress of being near Ground Zero on 9/11.
Born and raised in Queens, Alexis lived on 77th Road in Kew Gardens Hills. He attended Hillcrest HS and bounced around Brooklyn, Staten Island and Harlem. In 2000, he obtained a rifle permit from the NYPD to shoot at local firing ranges, sources said. Alexis, 34, spent nearly four years in the Navy from May 2007 until 2011.
He was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Forth Worth, Texas, as a petty officer third class before he was given a general discharge after a “pattern of misconduct,” military records show. Despite the trouble, he was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Alexis stayed in the Fort Worth area, in the city of White Settlement,and worked as a waiter in a Thai restaurant called the Happy Bowl. He spoke Thai and lived for a short time in a bungalow near a local Buddhist temple.