He said the family's initial reaction was "very distraught, very stressed out, tears."
"You know, they didn't see it coming," said Little, who is married to Alexis' sister Naomi. "Their hearts are going out more to the victims and the people that got hurt because, you know, there's more lives lost and we don't need that right now. We really don't."
Melinda Downs, a friend of Alexis', said she spoke to him a week ago and he gave no indication of what was to come.
"It is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Who was this guy?" she asked.
Downs described Alexis as intellectual.
"His mind was sound. He could hold conversations with the best of us," she said. "If he did (hear voices), he hid it very well."
She said Alexis had good relationship with his family, but a tough one with his father.
"You ask yourself, you go from denial, to reality, to fear, to blame. Is there something I could have done? ... Is there some type of behavior that I ignored or didn't see. That I could have prevented this. But there is no answers," Downs said.
Alexis appeared to have had sporadic run-ins with the law, dating back to at least 2004, when he was arrested in Seattle, accused of shooting out the tires of a man's truck in an anger-fueled "blackout," according to a Seattle Police Department report.
He told investigators he believed the man, a construction worker, was mocking him, but had no memory of shooting out the tires, the report said.
Investigators later spoke with Alexis' father, who told police that his son had anger management problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he suffered after working "as an active participant in rescue attempts" during the 9/11 attacks, the report said.
And in 2010, Alexis was arrested by Fort Worth, Texas, police but never charged over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. According to records, he told police he accidentally fired it while cleaning it.
His last known address was outside of Fort Worth, where he was roommates for three years with Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, who described Alexis as his best friend.
Alexis befriended Suthamtewakul four years ago after he emigrated from Thailand.
Alexis taught him about American culture, Suthamtewakul told CNN. Alexis, he said, was fluent in Thai and attended a Buddhist temple.
When Suthamtewakul opened the Happy Bowl Thai Restaurant, Alexis would occasionally help out, waiting tables, he said.
The two were roommates until five months ago, when Suthamtewakul got married and Alexis had to move out.
Toward the end, Alexis spent a lot of time holed up in his room, keeping to himself, Suthamtewakul said.