Birmingham family claims to have had tense encounter with Navy Y - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Birmingham family claims to have had tense encounter with Navy Yard shooting suspect

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Members of the Steele and Boyd family. Source: WBRC video Members of the Steele and Boyd family. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A Birmingham family says they had a tense encounter with the Navy Yard shooting suspect Aaron Alexis.

The family says the incident happened in early August, when they were returning from a family reunion in Virginia Beach.

They say when they were waiting for their flight in Newport, Rhode Island, laughing amongst themselves, when Alexis approached them. Curly and Larsenia Steele say a family member was laughing at something someone said and that's when Alexis came up.

"Then he just walked on around and said, 'Hey, that lady laughing at me?' I was like, man, we ain't thinking about you, you need to go over there and sit down," family member Michael Boyd said.

"He just got real irate and started patting his side and acted like he had a weapon," Vivian Boyd said.

The family says they alerted airport security who told Alexis if he didn't calm down, he would be taken off his flight. The familiy believes Alexis did make his flight and three days later, he reported them to police.

According to a Newport police report, Alexis told officers that  he believed three family members had followed him and that he had gotten into a confrontation with them at the airport.

Then, this week, the family saw Alexis' face again. This time it was on TV and authorities were reporting that Alexis had shot and killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

"When I saw that picture on TV I said, 'No, it can't be the same guy.' Ain't no way," Curly Steele said.

One of the extended family says he became so upset with the rude comments from Alexis at the airport that he thought about fightin Alexis. The rest of the family intervened.

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