gun violence

Affidavit: Man Who Fired 32 Shots at Cuban Embassy Heard ‘Voices in His Head'

He fired 32 bullets at the embassy, causing damage to its facade but no injuries or fatalities

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A statement of facts from the Secret Service provides new insights into the mind of the man who shot 32 bullets at the Cuban Embassy early Thursday morning.

When officers arrived at the Cuban Embassy after 2 a.m. Thursday morning, they found Alexander Alazo yelling on the street outside the embassy holding a Cuban flag, according to an affidavit. His gun, an AK-47, was laying on the sidewalk in front of the building.

The original report listed the incident as a “suspected hate crime,” but a newly released Secret Service document suggest Alazo’s motives may have been something else.

In questioning after waiving his Miranda rights, Alazo said he was born in Cuba and served in the country’s military, according to the document. He left Cuba to live in Mexico in 2003 before claiming political asylum in Texas in 2007. Alazo said hereturned to Cuba in 2014 to preach at a church, but claims he returned to the United States because he received threats from Cuban organized crime groups.

Alazo also struggled with mental health issues, according to the document.

Alazo told investigators he began hearing voices in his head that told him to protect his family after a friend of his was killed in Canada. He also started to believe the criminal organizations were still a threat while he was in the United States, the document shows.

He said his wife is a traveling mental health nurse who told him to seek help when he began hearing voices in his head, the document shows. He was prescribed medication in March 2020 after an evaluation at a psychiatric hospital, but he admitted he was not compliant with his medication.

Alazo told investigators he lived out of his car for several months out of fear that the Cuban organized crime groups he says are after him would harm his family. He traveled around multiple states, staying in rest stop parking lots.

After buying a Glock 19 in Texas, Alazo traded the pistol for an AK-47 about a month ago in Loudoun County, Virginia, the document shows. He said the AK-27 is his only gun.

Alazo drove to Washington from Pennsylvania the night of April 29, planning to launch a preemptive attack on the Cuban government, which he believes is working with the criminal organizations threatening him. 

Alazo told investigators he arrived at the embassy and tried to light a Cuban flag on fire while yelling at the embassy but was unsuccessful. He then grabbed an American flag and yelled towards the Cuban Embassy that he is a "Yankee." 

Alazo said he then grabbed his AK-47 from out of his car and began shooting at the embassy.

He fired 32 bullets at the embassy, causing damage to its facade but no injuries or fatalities.

The Secret Service said Alazo was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition, assault with the intent to kill and possession of a "high-capacity feed device."

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