NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The man who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard called police in a Rhode Island city last month to complain that voices were harassing him through a wall at his hotel and that he worried they might harm him. Police said Tuesday they alerted the Navy that day that Aaron Alexis was hearing voices.
According to a police report, two Newport police officers were called to a Marriott in town around 6 a.m. Aug. 7. Alexis told them he was in town as a naval contractor. Newport is the site of Naval Station Newport, the Naval War College and several military contractors.
Alexis, 34, a defense contractor employee, fired inside a building at the Washington naval installation Monday and killed 12, the FBI said. He was killed in a gunbattle with police.
In Rhode Island, Alexis told the officers he had gotten in an argument while boarding a flight in Virginia, and he believed the person he argued with sent three people to follow him. He said he never saw the people but believed they were using a microwave machine to send vibrations into his body so he could not fall asleep. He said he checked into two hotels previously, one on the Navy base, and could not get away from them.
He would not tell officers what the voices were saying. But he also told them he did not have a history of mental illness in his family and had never had any similar episodes, the report said.
“He was concerned for his own safety,” Newport Police Lt. William Fitzgerald said Tuesday.
Later that day, Newport police alerted police at the naval station and sent them a copy of the police report because Alexis said he was a contractor, Fitzgerald said.
“What he was claiming didn’t sound right,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the station referred calls to the FBI.
Fitzgerald said Alexis did not call police again, and it was the only contact his department had with him.
Associated Press writer Michelle R. Smith in Providence contributed to this report.