Aaron Alexis, the man identified by Washington D.C. police as a suspect in this morning’s tragic attack on a US Navy Yard, was previously arrested by Seattle police in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what Alexis later described to detectives as an anger-fueled “blackout.”
Because Seattle police have received numerous inquiries about the incident, we are posting the details, detective logs, and the original report for the May 6, 2004 case.
At about 8 am that morning, two construction workers had parked their 1986 Honda Accord in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
The victims reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the two rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home north of the construction site.
It’s not immediately clear to me whether the witnesses were in the car when the shooting happened. If they were not, the truth is that most states do not punish a shooting at an unoccupied vehicle terribly harshly. With hindsight, the average citizen looks at a story like this and wonders whether more could have been done, but unless someone has a long record, you generally can’t lock up people for a long time for something like this.