Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people last week, including four Fairfax County residents, was suffering from delusions that the U.S. Navy was using low-frequency electromagnetic waves to control him, according to the FBI.
Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, said in a statement Wednesday that FBI investigation shows there were multiple indicators that Alexis held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.
The etching of “My ELF weapon!” on the left side of the receiver of the Remington 870 shotgun he purchased in Lorton is believed to reference these electromagnetic waves, Parlave said. Other etchings on the gun used by Alexis spelled out, “Not what y’all said,” “Better off this way,” and “End the torment.”
A document retrieved from Alexis’ computer stated that, “Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this,” Parlave said in the statement.
According to the FBI, ELF technology was a legitimate program for naval sub-tonal submarine communications; however, conspiracy theories exist that misinterpret its application as the weaponization of remote neural frequencies for government monitoring and manipulation of unsuspecting citizens.
Alexis was employed as a contractor for a private information technology firm named The Experts, based in Alexandria.
On Wednesday, Parlave said in the FBI statement that as part of his employment, Alexis was assigned to a project at the Navy Yard and that he arrived in the Washington, D.C., area on Aug. 25. Alexis began working at the Navy Yard on Sept. 9.
On Sept. 14, just two days before the shooting, he purchased the shotgun and ammunition at the Sharpshooters Small Arms Range and gun store in Lorton. On the same day, Alexis also purchased a hacksaw, among other items, at a home improvement store in Northern Virginia, the FBI said.
On the morning of Sept. 16, Alexis arrived at the Navy Yard at 7:53 a.m. Alexis had legitimate access to the Navy Yard as a result of his work as a contractor and he used a valid pass to gain entry to Building No. 197.
The FBI said Wednesday that Alexis’ backpack was located in a fourth-floor men’s bathroom, hanging on the back of a stall door. Contents of the backpack included a roll of purple duct tape and electronic media. Searches were conducted of Alexis’ blue Toyota Prius rental car, located in a nearby parking garage, and his hotel room in Washington.
Shortly after his arrival in the building and over the course of approximately one hour, Alexis used the shotgun and a Beretta handgun he took from a security guard during the course of the attack to kill 12 victims and wound four surviving victims before he was shot and killed by law-enforcement officers. The FBI determined that Alexis acted alone, and that he had no apparent relationship with any of his victims.
“There are indicators that Alexis was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave said. “There is no indication to date that Alexis was targeting specific individuals.”