“How did he get these weapons into this Navy Yard, an assault rifle and other firearms,” Durbin asked at the end of his speech.
Senator Durbin has been a strong supporter of gun control efforts.
The senator postponed a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on the controversial Stand Your Ground law, which gained national attention after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, was scheduled to testify against such laws.
“How could a man of that kind of a background end up getting the necessary security clearance for a military contractor to go into this Navy Yard?” asked Durbin of Alexis.
Alexis worked as a contractor for Hewlett-Packard. He was reportedly fired from his job on Tuesday, leading some to speculate that the shooting was retribution.
Alexis joined the Navy reserves in 2007 and was honorably discharged in 2011, despite “a pattern of misbehavior”.
In 2004, he was arrested for shooting out the tires of construction vehicles near his home in Seattle, Washington. In 2010, he was arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm after he fired a shot that entered the apartment above his in Fort Worth, Texas.
Alexis’ father told reporters that his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was a first responder during the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. Alexis also reportedly complained of hearing voices and of ringing in his ears.
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