INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis man who knew Aaron Alexis says Alexis was the "class clown" of their navy boot camp class.
Ken Morris met the Navy Yard shooter, who killed 12 and injured several others, six years ago. The two attended Navy boot camp together in Illinois.
Morris says he was shocked to learn the navy yard shooter was someone he knew.
"My initial reaction was somewhat disbelief. I couldn't believe it was someone I knew ... But at the same time it was not very surprising to hear it was him," Morris said.
ONLINE EXTRA | Navy Yard shooting timeline
As news of the shooting unfolded Monday, Morris, a naval reservist, followed the updates on his phone.
He says when he first heard the name of the shooter, he didn't think anything of it. Then it clicked. Memories of training with Alexis came back.
"I couldn't believe this guy who I never imagined would hurt anybody, who I never saw confront anybody would go to this level of extreme," Morris said.
Morris described the mass murderer as an outcast and a boot camp screw up.
"To this day I can remember my chief yelling his name out repetitiously ... (Alexis) didn't take a lot of things seriously and he found himself in trouble because he didn't take things seriously," Morris said.
Friends and family say Alexis had a history of mental health problems.
Police records show Alexis called police in Rhode Island six weeks ago claiming he was hearing voices and people were stalking him.
Morris says those reports of psychosis don't reflect the man he had known.
"When I knew him he was heavy into Buddhism and absolutely not confrontational. Not at all," he said.
Morris says he was a little perturbed about the media reports concerning security at the Navy Yard. He points out Alexis had the necessary clearance to be on the naval base. Morris says it's the contractor who hired Alexis, not the gate personnel, who should be questioned about security.
If you have information regarding Aaron Alexis or the Navy Yard shooting, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit the FBI's website.
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