The man who fatally shot 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard last week did not specifically target his victims and was “prepared to die,” FBI officials said.
Disturbing video and images, as well as writings that appear to show a man paranoid that he was being controlled by electromagnetic waves, were disclosed Wednesday as law enforcement officials continued their investigation into what led 34-year-old Aaron Alexis to launch a shooting rampage last week.
“He accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
What specifically motivated Alexis to commit the mass shooting has not been determined, Ms. Parlave said, but “multiple indicators” uncovered by investigators show “Alexis held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves.
“A document retrieved from his electronic media stated ‘Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this,’ ” she added.
Officials said about 90 minutes transpired from the time Alexis passed through a security gate at the Navy Yard with a valid pass on Sept. 16, to when law enforcement officers fatally shot him on the third floor of Building 197.
In that time, Alexis parked his rental car in a lot across from Building 197, entered the building carrying a backpack and clipboard and went to a bathroom where he assembled the shotgun.
He shot his first victim at about 8:16 a.m. on the fourth floor of the building. He was fatally shot at 9:25 a.m.
Using photographs released to the public Wednesday, the FBI confirmed earlier reports that the sawed-off Remington 870 Express shotgun Alexis used had the words “Better off this way” and “My ELF weapon!” carved into the gun. ELF is an abbreviation for “extremely low frequency.”
The images also show that in addition to those quotes, Alexis had also etched “Not what yall say” and “End to the torment!” into the gun.
The FBI also released chilling video taken from security cameras in Building 197.
Wearing a blue striped polo shirt, Alexis clutches the shotgun as he checks doorways in a long corridor. Later he is seen racing down a set of stairs, watching a cluster of people pass through a hallway in the distance as he creeps toward them — ducking low at some points and taking cover behind corridor walls.