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Gunman visited firing range in days before rampage

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Washington (CNN) -- While no specific reason has been given as to what spurred him to shoot dead 12 people at Washington's Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis' overall mindset came into sharper focus Tuesday -- including a history of psychological issues.

That past includes a Newport, Rhode Island, incident on August 7, more than five weeks before Alexis was gunned down after single-handedly pulling off America's latest mass shooting.

Describing himself as a Navy contractor, Alexis told police he believed an individual he'd gotten into a verbal spat with had sent three "people to follow him and keep him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations into his body," according to a police report. Alexis said he hadn't seen any of these people, but insisted they'd followed him between three hotels in the area -- the last being a Marriott, where police investigating a harassment complaint encountered him.

If you have information regarding Aaron Alexis or the Navy Yard shooting, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit the FBI's website.

Read the police report

There, Alexis told authorities the unseen individuals continued speaking to him through walls and the floor, and that they used "some sort of microwave machine" to send vibrations into his body to keep him awake.

Police: Navy Yard shooter heard voices

He added, 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." Nonetheless, a police sergeant alerted authorities at Naval Station Newport about Alexis "hearing voices." Reached Tuesday, officials at the base referred CNN to the FBI, which declined comment.

Witness describes Navy Yard shooting

It's not known if this incident was in any way related to Monday's shooting spree. Still, it and other details offer insights into the shooter -- and raised questions as to whether he could have been stopped.

Gunman passed security clearances

The Navy moved to discharge Alexis in 2010 because of what two Navy officials described as a "pattern of misconduct" described as a history of disciplinary issues.

There were also run-ins with police, beyond the Newport incident. In Seattle, for instance, Alexis was arrested in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he later told detectives was an anger-fueled "blackout."

DeKalb County, Georgia, authorities said Tuesday they arrested Alexis in 2008 on a disorderly conduct charge.

And recently, Alexis had contacted two Veterans Affairs hospitals -- possibly seeking treatment for psychological issues -- two law enforcement sources told CNN.

Whatever his past, Alexis was a military contractor and was in the Navy's Ready Reserve -- a designation for former military members who don't actively serve in a Reserve unit but who can be called up if the military needs them.

 

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