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updated: 9/16/2013 11:55 PM

Washington Navy Yard shooter went through Great Lakes in 2007

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  • Aaron Alexis, one suspect in the Navy Yard shooting Monday in Washington, went through basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago from May to June 2007.

      Aaron Alexis, one suspect in the Navy Yard shooting Monday in Washington, went through basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago from May to June 2007.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Aaron Alexis

      Aaron Alexis


The one identified suspect so far in the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting received his military training at Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago.

Aaron Alexis, 34, enlisted in the Navy on May 5, 2007. He went through basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Recruit Training Command and graduated from boot camp July 10, 2007, the Navy Information Office said.

The gunman went through various kinds of professional training afterward until Sept. 13, 2007, and ultimately he received the rank of petty officer, 3rd Class, aviation electrician's mate on Dec. 16, 2009.

He was a commander in the Fleet Logistics Support Wing from Jan. 6, 2008, to Feb. 1, 2008. His last duty station was Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR46) in Fort Worth, Texas, from Feb. 1, 2008, to Jan. 31, 2011.

He left the Navy as a full-time Reservist and has not been called up since. He received the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

There is no record of him having worked overseas or performed combat duty.

Great Lakes starting in 1996 became the Navy's only training station where recruits get basic training.

As for security at Great Lakes, Navy public affairs is telling Chicago media only that they're taking all necessary precautions. Some people who live on the base say they are not worried about their own security there, ABC 7 reported. Some military wives said it is the type of shooting that can happen anywhere.

On Facebook, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk shared this brief comment: "My thoughts and prayers are with the Navy Yard victims and their families." Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, a Deerfield Democrat whose district includes the Great Lakes Naval Station, called the shooting horrific.

"Let us keep the victims, first responders and families affected by the tragedy at the Navy Yard in our thoughts and prayers," Schneider said in a statement.

The gunman was a former Navy reservist, a Defense Department contractor, a convert to Buddhism taking an online course in aeronautics. But he also had flashes of temper that led to run-ins with police over shootings in Fort Worth, Texas and Seattle.

While some neighbors and acquaintances described him as "nice," his father once told detectives in Seattle his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Alexis lived in Seattle in 2004 and 2005, according to public documents. In 2004, Seattle police said, Alexis was arrested for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he later described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout."


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