The man accused of slaying 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in the U.S. capital on Monday had plans to move to Thailand. He also had a strong interest in Buddhism and even taught himself the Thai language, according to media reports.
Aaron Alexis, 34, lived in Fort Worth, Texas, working at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant for three years prior to Monday’s killing spree.
Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, the restaurant owner, described the former Navy contractor as “friendly and polite.” He added that Alexis, who died apparently while exchanging fire with police, had previously visited the Southeast Asian nation and often practiced meditation.
U.S. President Obama made a statement on the killings from the White House on Monday, calling the shootings “a cowardly act.” He ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until Friday, Sept. 20, in honor of the Navy Yard victims.