In the days before Aaron Alexis called the police in Newport, R.I., to complain that he was hearing voices sent by a “microwave machine,” employees at the Residence Inn in nearby Middletown were struggling to cope with his behavior.
Daily logs kept by the hotel detailed how on successive nights, he knocked on doors to find the voices, woke up a person in one room and frightened another so badly she asked to move. Then came a call from his employer.
“Brenda from The Experts Inc. called re: Mr. Alexis in 407,” a Residence Inn employee noted in a log dated Aug. 7 that was reviewed by The New York Times.“
She explained that he is unstable and the company is bringing him home,” the entry continued. “She asked me to check the room it was vacant, and check him out.”
The call from the company, placed six weeks before Mr. Alexis, a former Navy reservist who the police say shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, suggests it had deep concerns about his state of mind and raises questions about why he continued to be sent to Navy bases in different states to work on their computer systems.
Company officials have said that although they knew Mr. Alexis was complaining about voices, they believed he was saying that the hotel was too noisy. The company did not respond immediately to requests for comment on Thursday.
It was one of numerous occasions in the weeks just before the shootings on Monday when Mr. Alexis’ increasingly bizarre behavior was noted by others, including hotel employees, guards at a Virginia airport and the police in Newport. Yet no one managed to head off the violence.
Why do you have to be so angry all the time? Why can’t you just chill out? Why isn’t weed universally legal. If this DC gunman asshole was smoking a joint and listening to Reggae, 12 people would still be alive. Don’t take life so seriously.
Red flag dumbass, if you’re buying a gun and you don’t plan on going hunting, then check you head. You’ve got mental problems. If you’re buying a gun because you want to protect yourself, move someplace safer.
These lone gunman stories hit a whole lot closer to home for me now. In June, an old friend of mine, a guy I knew since fist grade 40 years ago, went crazy and started shooting a shotgun in his suburban backyard. Apparently, according to the neighbors who rightly called the police, he was ranting about Bloomberg and gun laws. WTF?
So of course the cops show up. My friend, who sadly I hadn’t seen in 5 years because I was busy with other shit, ran back into his house. Now he could have come out with his hands up and pleaded temporary insanity, but no, my asshole friend comes out of the front door in some bullshit body armor and a helmet with his rifle. Guns blazing, he starts shooting at the cops.
This kind of thing can only end badly. Either the gunman is going to kill a cop and then get killed by some other cops, or he is going to miss the cops and the cops aren’t going to miss him. There’s no way the cops are going to reason with a freaked out gunman. They are rightly shooting to kill.
And so my friend, a guy I hung out with every day from age 6 into our early 20’s is dead. And luckily no police went with him to the great void in the ground.
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that my friend was a saint and he had a slip up. He was a decent, regular middle class guy with a good job, never married with no kids, but he was angry. Just generally angry. Maybe he was lonely. I don’t know because he never called me.
The last time I saw him was in my kitchen in a house I was losing to divorce. He spent two hours telling me how angry he was at his father. My friend was 40. He was as mad at his dad as he was at 16. That is some deep shit anger. Even if his dad was an asshole, he was there. He didn’t go out for a pack of smokes and never come back. He paid the mortgage and the grocery bill. Clearly my friend had some misplaced anger, but it was clear he was a mess about it. At the time I was going through a divorce and even I was not angry like this guy was. Why stay angry. It only hurts you, not the person you’re mad at. I think the Buddha said that.
I tried to talk my buddy off the ledge. I told him to go see a therapist to work out this anger. I told him to chill out and that he had it made. He was single at 40 with a good job. He was driving a Porsche convertible. I was driving a Scion. He had the world by the balls. But he was just an angry guy. He was a very talented musician in a tribute band. I don’t judge, he was having a good time pretending he was Jethro Tull. He had time for his hobbies. And yet he was just angry. I was chaning diapers praying for the years to roll by quickly.
Funny but I don’t remember him mentioning guns.
I found out at his funeral that he had become a anti government conspiracy nut. No one loves a good conspiracy more than me. No one rails against the Brotherhood of Darkness more than me, but my God, at the end of the day I sleep in peace, knowing I can’t do anything about anything. My mission in life is not to get killed. Not to go crazy and try and kill some innocent people. My friend had other plans. Who knows what set him off. He didn’t leave a note.
These mass shootings are personal to me now. I grew up with someone who but for the grace of being a bad shot, would have killed a few cops on his way out of this world.
I don’t know what to do about this shit. Maybe there is an invisible evil force in the universe that takes hold of these nutbags and makes them snap. You’d have to ask the Pope about that. I can’t explain how a guy I used to drink beers with while cranking Van Halen records went berserk. We used to ride our bikes down to the smoke shop and put our quarters up on Pac Man and wait for our turn. Who knew that 30 years later he’d be dead from crazy. Its nut to think about.
If my friend hadn’t bought a gun or listened to talk radio he’d still be here playing guitar and driving a cool car.
So yeah, this whole mass shooting mess is just that, a mess. The Brotherhood of Darkness has decided that it’s okay and normal to go through this every few months. They’ve sprinkled enough money and news speak into the atmosphere to influence whoever it is that needs to be influenced. We’ve all decided that we’d rather watch dancing with the stars and be able to buy whatever gun we want at Walmart than put a stop to this. It is what it is.
Think of it as our collective sacrifice to the Gods. We don’t throw virgins in volcanoes, we shoot average people at work or the movies or in schools. It’s a small price to pay for our freedom.