Aaron Alexis called the police in Newport, R.I., to complain that he was hearing voices sent by a “microwave machine,” “Brenda from The Experts Inc. called re: Mr. Alexis in 407,” a Residence Inn employee noted in a log dated Aug. 7. “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.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/us/signs-of-trouble-on-navy-yard-gunmans-path-to-tragedy.html?hp&_r=0
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, 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.
In Fort Worth, where Alexis spent years in the Navy Reserve, he was described as friendly and sociable, drinking Heineken at bars with co-workers and chatting with customers at the Thai restaurant Happy Bowl, where he worked for a time.
Mr. Alexis practiced Theravada Buddhism, meditating for hours on the thick rugs of a temple in White Settlement, the suburb west of Fort Worth where he lived on and off for three years. He told one man affiliated with the temple that he aspired to be a monk.
Visiting an emergency room at a veterans’ medical center in August, he said only that he was having trouble sleeping, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
At the Residence Inn he complained about kitchen noises that were disturbing him in his fourth-floor room, though the kitchen was several floors below, the hotel noted. Later he called the desk to complain about noises coming from the room under his.
On the evening of his second day at the hotel, he checked out suddenly, moving to a room at the Navy base reserved for veterans. But he stayed only a few hours, moving again, to the Marriott in Newport.
Early the next morning, he called the Newport police, saying he was being followed by people whom he had argued with at an airport in Virginia.
Glynda Boyd, 50, of Birmingham, Ala., said in an interview that she was standing at a gate in the Norfolk airport on Aug. 4, laughing and talking with family members, when an intense young man in bluejeans and a T-shirt approached them from across the aisle of the terminal.
“Why is she laughing at me?” the man asked her.
Security guards arrived and Mr. Alexis eventually calmed down, Ms. Boyd said, returning to his own gate and making a call on his cellphone. Later that day, he checked into the Residence Inn outside Newport. It is not clear whether the Experts ever ordered him home or exactly where he traveled next.
On Aug. 18, at a meeting of a Thai Buddhist congregation in Raynham, Mass., about 40 miles north of Newport. He spent the night in his car and returned to the temple the next morning. He thanked the monk, bowed to the gold statue of the Buddha and signed the guest book before leaving, writing, “Happy to visit here.”
Mr. Alexis had shared living quarters in Fort Worth and in White Settlement, a town of 16,000 dotted with bingo halls, pawn shops, auto-repair garages, self-storage facilities and vacant businesses and homes. The town is home to a number of immigrants from Thailand.
Mr. Alexis attended meditation sessions at a nearby Buddhist temple, Wat Busayadhammavanaram, chanting and praying with the mostly Southeast Asian worshipers and learning the stages of purification that are part of Thai Theravada teachings.
His housemate Nutpisit Suthamtewakul said he noticed nothing of concern in Mr. Alexis’ behavior during the early summer, other than his persistent worry about his car. One night he got up at 2 a.m. to check on it, flashlight in hand.
“He had a problem with his company,” Mr. Suthamtewakul said. Mr. Alexis worked for the Experts from last September until January, then took off several months. But he returned to the company in July.
On July 5, Mr. Suthamtewakul filed a police report accusing Mr. Alexis of putting sugar in the gas tank of his Honda Accord. And soon after, Mr. Alexis left, moving in with a friend.
The friend noted that before leaving Texas, Alexis had put his belongings in storage. “He was planning on returning,” she said.