Day Before Navy Yard Shootings, Suspect Bought Shotgun

Aaron Alexis, the man police say killed 12 people on Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, went to a gun store and shooting range in suburban Northern Virginia the day before, an attorney for the shop has told NPR.

On Morning Edition, NPR’s Joseph Shapiro reported that The Sharpshooters Range in Lorton, Va., ran Alexis’ name through the FBI and state of Virginia background check system. Alexis was approved and he purchased a Remington 870 shotgun and about 24 shells, Joe says.

Alexis also rented a rifle and practiced shooting at the shop’s range.

Those are among some of the additional details coming out today about the 34-year-old Alexis, who died at the scene of Monday’s shootings after exchanging gunfire with police.

Tuesday, we posted about:

– The police report filed in August by authorities in Newport, R.I., who said Alexis had told them that three men were using “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations through the ceiling of his hotel room to keep him from sleeping. According to that document, Newport Sgt. Frank C. Rosa Jr. reported the contact with Alexis to the Navy. He said that Alexis claimed to be “hearing voices.”

– How Alexis was given security clearances despite a past that included a “troubled” service record in the U.S. Navy Reserves and “signs of mental instability.”

Also Tuesday, The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that investigators believe Alexis carried the disassembled shotgun in a backpack as he entered the Navy Yard’s Building 197 — then stopped in a men’s room to put the gun together.

Among Wednesday’s other important stories about the shootings and their aftermath:

Navy Yard victim’s wife: ‘I can’t believe this is happening again’

The Post writes that Priscilla Daniels of Washington, D.C., lost her 14-year-old son four years ago — he was “shot and killed … on a D.C. street.” On Monday, her husband Arthur was among the 12 people killed at the Navy Yard.

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