In the early morning hours of August 10, 2008, Aaron Alexis -- now known as the Washington Navy Yard shooter -- was arrested for disorderly conduct in metro Atlanta. The then-Navy reservist was kicked out of a club for damaging the furnishings and left the place releasing an unrelenting string of profanities even as police officers told him to stop.
He kept cussing and he was taken in, according to a police report.
An angry overreaction, maybe, but one that his military superiors noticed.
Was this just one side of an isolated incident? Or was it a warning sign of someone suffering from trauma dating back to the 9/11 attacks? It was this confrontation along with another arrest in Texas that prompted the Navy to begin proceedings to separate him from the military.
By the time the Navy began to seek a "general discharge" for Alexis, he had eight instances of misconduct on his record, including insubordination, disorderly conduct, unauthorized absences from work, and at least one instance of drunkenness. But in the end, he left the service with an honorable discharge because he had never been convicted and there was a lack of evidence to merit a general discharge, a U.S. defense official said.
A general discharge might have hindered his ability to get work in the civilian sector.
As it tragically played out, Alexis was working as a military contractor when he opened fire Monday at the Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia.
Authorities have not released their thoughts on Alexis' motive in the morning shooting at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command that left 12 people -- and the gunman -- dead. But a friend said Alexis was locked in a dispute over money with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy.
Investigators also learned that Alexis had recently made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals for apparent psychological issues, law enforcement sources told CNN on Tuesday. However, other sources said Alexis sought help from the VA for sleep-related issues.
He told Newport, Rhode Island, police last month that an individual "had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body," according to a police report.
Authorities said earlier that they are confident that Alexis was the lone gunman, after a daylong police search for a possible second suspect.
Trauma from 9/11?
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were the catalyst that triggered Alexis to leave his home in New York City, according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation.
He could not deal with the attack, left New York and essentially became a wanderer going from place to place -- San Diego, Texas, and overseas, the source said.
His father told Seattle police in 2004 that his son was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after taking part in 9/11 rescue efforts, according to police records.
Alexis has not been back to New York since 2010, the source said. His parents, divorced, both live in Queens, and have been interviewed by authorities.
The source with direct knowledge of the investigation said that, based on family accounts, it appears Alexis "basically snapped."
According to the source, Alexis was "having problems sleeping" and was "hearing voices." He was growing increasingly troubled and in recent months had exhibited signs of mental problems and, the source said, he tried to get help at a VA facility in Rhode Island.
Last month, Alexis told Newport, Rhode Island, police that an individual "had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body," according to a police report.
According to that report, which is related to an investigation into a harassment complaint at a Marriott hotel in Newport, Alexis said he first heard the people "talking to him through a wall" at a Residence Inn in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he'd been staying.
He packed up and went to an unidentified hotel on a Navy base in Newport where he heard the same voices talking to him. He moved to a third hotel, the Marriott, according to the police report. There, Alexis first told authorities that the three individuals spoke to him through the floor and then the ceiling.
Alexis said the individuals were using "some sort of microwave machine" that sent "vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep." He told authorities, according to the police report, that "he does not have a history of mental illness in his family and that he never had any sort of mental episode."
Newport police said they referred the matter to the Newport naval base. That facility on Tuesday deferred comment to the FBI, which would not speak about the report.
Alexis is believed to have arrived in the Washington area last week, when he checked into a hotel, according to someone who met him at the hotel. The person, who declined to be identified, said Alexis indicated he planned to be in the area for several weeks.