Sometimes I really hate Mondays, especially ones like today.
This morning at 8:20 AM EST in Washington D.C. at the Washington Navy Yard, home to the Chief of Naval Operations, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Naval Reactors, Marine Corps Institute and the United States Navy Band a shooting occurred in which 14 people are now confirmed dead.
The reason I don’t care to talk about this has nothing to do with my stance on responsible gun ownership, tighter background checks or getting guns out of the hands of mentally unstable individuals – I am all for those things.
I’m a Navy vet. I served in the United States Navy for 8 years and had the privilege and honor of having served under some of the finest officers and along side some of the finest enlisted men in any branch. In my time with the Navy I have forged friendships and relationships (both personal and professional) with these people that will last a lifetime.
So you can imagine how I feel about this right now. I don’t think I have to spell it out for anyone.
So here’s what we know:
The shooter was one Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas (now deceased) – a civilian contractor at the Navy Yard. Mr. Alexis was himself a sailor in the United States Navy having achieved the rating of Aviation Electrician 3rd Class from 2007 to 2011 where he was kicked out of the Navy due to a previous incident with a handgun in 2010 that ended up with a bullet being shot through the floor of his apartment building.Alexis told the police at the scene that his gun accidentally discharged while he was cleaning it.
The Tarrant County District Attorney declined to prosecute.
Alexis entered the Navy Yard with what authorities are saying was another man’s pass card. He was in possession of three weapons, including an AR-15.
From 2008 until his discharge in 2011, Alexis was a member of an aviation support squadron based in Fort Worth, Texas, where he worked on C-40s, a military version of the Boeing 737 that the Navy uses as a cargo plane.
Aaron Alexis has kept a low profile. He has no Facebook or Twitter account. Indeed, the only social network interaction he’s known to have had was a LinkedIn account which was deleted the day before the shooting.
As of yet, there is little information to go on and certainly less evidence to establish any sort of motive. Your guess as to why he did it is as good as anyone else’s right now.
The authorities believe that a second, perhaps a third person, was involved in the shooting. Law enforcement describes the second person of interest as a black man in his 50s wearing army camouflage and carrying “a long gun”.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. Again we are reminded of carnage that follows in the wake of senseless gun violence.
- Aaron Alexis Identified as Gunman in Navy Yard Shooting (everyjoe.com)
- Deceased, Aaron Alexis, Naval Yard, Kills 13, Including Himself (usnationalistnews.wordpress.com)
- Gunman opens fire at Navy facility (cinewsnow.com)
- Mayor: 13 dead, including gunman, at Navy Yard (ktvb.com)
- ‘Active shooter’ at Washington Navy Yard (rawstory.com)
- Three shooters in military-style uniforms reportedly kill at least 6 at Navy Yard, two gunmen still at large (EndtheLie.com)