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FORT WORTH Imagine learning that someone you loved like family is the sole suspect in Monday's mass shooting in the Nation's Capital that left 13 people dead.

Then you d feel the pain of Melinda Downs.

It s just not even in his character. I can t say it s...the character I knew of him... it s just not... to me, she said Monday, still trying to reconcile her feelings.

It's difficult to imagine that Aaron Alexis, her roommate who felt more like a son, could have killed so many.

Things sounded fine the last time she talked to him just a few days ago.

He was letting us know were he was. He was in Washington, Downs said. Didn t know how long he was going to be there; he said he was okay.

But hindsight has her now questioning everything like the times Alexis talked to her about post-traumatic stress disorder.

I would be like, 'When you feel like you re going through or whatever, just talk to us; don t close yourself off,' said Downs, who also now wonders about his temper.

I ve seen him mad, but not 'murder' mad, she said. A lot of times when Aaron was upset, he d become withdrawn.

Downs said Alexis was always carrying a weapon.

He said being in the military, he just felt naked without it, Downs recalled.

The last time Downs saw Alexis was when he left Fort Worth for work one month ago. Now she s replaying their final conversation.

Last thing I told him [was] to get some rest. He had been going and going. And I said, 'Aaron, get some rest,' Downs said through tears.

She's wondering what she could have said to keep Monday's horror from happening.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

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