Alexis Had Typical Mass Killer Symptoms: Aggression, Job Problems, Anger


Navy Yard shooting suspect Aaron Alexis had characteristics common among mass killers: aggression, difficulties on the job, paranoia and anger problems, McClatchy Newspapers report. “He did have some of the common factors that we see in adult mass murderers,” said Kathy Seifert, a Maryland-based psychologist who's studied mass shooters. “He had a history of aggression,” she said, noting reports in Fort Worth, where Alexis shot through the ceiling of his apartment; in Seattle, where he shot out the tires of a construction worker's car; and a disorderly conduct charge in Georgia.

“The pattern is a person who is a social reject, who failed at intimacy and could not connect with people,” said Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist who's interviewed many mass killers. The killings, he said, are a response to blaming everyone else for the shooters' problems. “Destruction is an exaggerated expression of masculinity,” he said. “Mass killing always has a motivation, and the mass killer always wants you to know it.” Although it's unclear what motivated Alexis, Welner thinks it will be a story similar to the Virginia Tech, Newtown, Ct., Aurora, Co., and Tucson shooters – who told themselves, “My life isn't going anywhere.”

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