Who is Navy Yard Gunman Aaron Alexis?
By Chelsea J. Carter. Ed Lavandera and Evan Perez CNN | 9/17/2013, 9:12 a.m.
She is grieving. "He was like one of our best friends, like a brother to us and always willing to go out of his way to help us out with things."
He was very frustrated with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy, according to another friend.
Alexis claimed he wasn't paid properly by the company after returning from a months-long assignment to Japan last year, said Michael Ritrovato, another former roommate.
It was unclear whether the dispute was over salary or expenses. Alexis just felt the company owed him money and had not paid him, Ritrovato said.
He is in shock over his friend's actions.
"He was an easygoing guy. I don't know of any reason for this," he said.
But Ritrovato knew Alexis was fascinated by guns. "He was ... knowledgeable with military rifles and handguns. At least he led us to believe he was. But nobody ever had the idea that he would use them in a derogatory way," he said.
It is not clear whether Alexis was still living in Fort Worth area at the time of the shooting.
Alexis was believed to have arrived in the Washington area last week, when he reportedly checked into a hotel, according to someone who met him at the hotel. The person, who declined to be identified, said Alexis indicated that he planned to be in the area for several weeks.
At the time of the shooting, Alexis was working for The Experts, a subcontractor of HP Enterprise Services that was contracted to "refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network," according to a statement released by the company.
Alexis, who had Department of Defense security clearance, worked from September 2012 through January refreshing computer systems in Japan, said Thomas E. Hoshko, the CEO of The Experts.
His security clearance was renewed in July to carry out the same type of contract work at the Navy Yard, Hoshko said.
CNN's Evan Perez reported from Washington and Ed Lavandera reported from Fort Worth. Chelsea J. Carter wrote this report from Atlanta. CNN's Brian Todd, Susan Candiotti, Barbara Starr, Jake Tapper, John King, Pamela Brown, Deborah Feyerick, Alan Silverleib, Dan Merica and Larry Shaugnessy contributed to this report.
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