Alleged Washington Navy Yard killer stayed overnight at Buddhist temple in Raynham

Raynham, MA 09/19/13 We visit the Buddhist Wat Nawamintararachutis meditation center where last month the Washington DC shooter Aaron Alexis paid a visit and was put up overnight at a nearby closed school leased by the center. The current meditation center ( RIGHT )in inside an old house, its massive replacement ( LEFT ) is under construction next door. cqs all ( George Rizer for the Boston Globe ) for METRO
The temple is in an old house; its massive replacement is under construction next door.
George Rizer for The Boston Globe

An official at a Thai Buddhist temple in Raynham said today that alleged Washington Navy Yard mass killer Aaron Alexis stopped by the temple in mid-August and stayed overnight.

This undated photo provided by Kristi Kinard Suthamtewakul shows Aaron Alexis in Fort Worth, Texas. The FBI has identified Alexis, 34, as the gunman in the Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 shooting rampage at at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington that left thirteen dead, including himself. (AP Photo/Kristi Kinard Suthamtewakul)
Aaron Alexis (Kristi Kinard Suthamtewakul via AP)

Eang Tan, who is a member of the construction committee overseeing a new temple building, said that a monk at the temple told him that Alexis, who spoke Thai very well, walked into the temple on Aug. 18 and asked to stay overnight.

The monk felt bad for him and allowed him to sleep at a former Raynham school down the street that the temple, the NMR Meditation Center, rents from the town, Tan said in an e-mail.

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The next day Alexis came to say thank you and goodbye, Tan said. Tan said the monk, “as usual,” would not have asked much in the way of personal questions.

Mounlak ‘Connie’ Nosaphangthong, a volunteer who cooks for the monks, said in an interview at the temple that anybody can go there and get help when looking for a place to sleep.

Alexis allegedly killed 12 people in the shooting rampage Monday in Washington before being killed himself.

The horrific crime has drawn attention to Alexis’s past — which, it turns out, included time recently spent in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Alexis, a 34-year-old defense contractor, spent time last month in Rhode Island and told police in Newport that he heard voices speaking to him through the walls of his hotel room and felt a machine sending vibrations into his body. He also went to a Veterans Affairs hospital in Providence, where he complained of insomnia, the Globe reported this morning.

His visit to the hospital came on Aug. 23, five days after his visit to the Raynham temple. Five days after that, he visited another Veterans Affairs hospital in Washington to ask for a refill of his sleeping medication.

His mother, Cathleen Alexis, has issued a statement, saying, “To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”