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NAVY SHOOTER 'NOT HAPPY WITH AMERICA'

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(NBC NEWS) -- FORT WORTH, Texas — Aaron Alexis was so unhappy with his life in America — where he was beset by money woes and felt slighted as a veteran — that he was "ready to move out of the country" last year, a friend said Tuesday.

Aaron Alexis, the man police say shot and killed 12 people in a Washington Navy Yard, reportedly called police to complain about people following him and that he was hearing voices. He sought mental health treatment from a nearby VA hospital, officials said. NBC's Pete Williams reports.

 

"He was tired of dealing with the government," said Kristi Suthamtewkal, whose husband owns the Thai Bowl Restaurant in Fort Worth, where Alexis worked in exchange for room and board.

But instead of leaving the U.S., the former Navy reservist relocated from Texas to Virginia, where an IT company called The Experts put him on a government contract at the Washington Navy Yard.

A day after Alexis, 34, gunned down 12 people at the yard, new details emerged of his troubled past — from his preoccupation with 9/11 to recent mental problems that included hearing voices in his head.

Investigators said Tuesday that a preliminary probe has turned up no evidence that Alexis participated in rescue operations at Ground Zero, as his father once told police.

He was, however, employed as a clerical worker at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, in the shadow of the Twin Towers, when they were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

“He talked about 9/11 and where he was and how the buildings had collapsed and he couldn’t believe that...and how he was upset with the terrorists for taking innocent lives," Suthamtewkal said.

Aaron Alexis in an undated photograph provided by Kristi Suthamtewakul, wife of "Happy Bowl" Thai restaurant owner Nutpisit Suthamtewakul.

Melinda Downs, who took in Alexis after he moved out of the Suthamtewkals' house last year, said he told her he suffered from post-traumatic stress after "surviving 9/11 in New York."

And when Alexis was arrested in Seattle in 2004, for shooting at a parked car in what he called an "anger-fueled blackout," he brought up 9/11 during his interrogation and "how those events had disturbed him," police said.

Three years after that arrest, Alexis enlisted in the Navy Reserves and served as an aviation electrician's mate — a third-class petty officer — before he was given an honorable discharge in January 2011.

Military officials acknowledged that Alexis had disciplinary issues including absence without permission, insubordination and disorderly conduct. Continue reading via NBC News...

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