Tragedy strikes Navy Yard

by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-Chief

Former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and wounded several others in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16. Alexis, 34, was shot and killed by police inside of the secure military facility.

Alexis drove a rental car to the base, and entered using his access as a military contractor. He then shot an officer and another person outside of the Sea Systems Command headquarters. Once inside, Alexis made his way to a floor that overlooked an atrium, and he targeted employees eating breakfast below.

Employees said they heard a round of gunshots in the hallways at around 8 a.m. Monday morning. Confusion took over as the employees tried to figure out which way to escape.

Within minutes of the first shots, hundreds of police officers and naval officers surrounded the headquarters. Military helicopters circled from above while emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.

“This tragedy was uncalled for and unjustified. There was no reason for this man to kill innocent people,” says senior Brandon Hyman.

At first, officials were unsure whether Alexis had acted alone in the shooting. Police believed there were two other people involved, and said that they were on the lose in the city.

Three weapons were found on Alexis: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a semiautomatic pistol. It is unclear if he brought the guns with him or if he took them from victims.

On the shotgun, the words “My ELF weapon” were carved in. Other etchings on the shot gun included: “End the torment!” “Not what y’all say!” and “Better off this way!”

Alexis did not target specific victims. An FBI official said that Alexis was under “the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves.” Officials believe Alexis went on the shooting rampage because of this belief.

Alexis had a prior history of mental instability. In 2011, the Navy decided to discharge Alexis due to what officials described as a “pattern of misconduct”. A year before, he was arrested for discharging a firearm after a confrontation with a neighbor. Even earlier, in 2004, Alexis was arrested for shooting another man’s vehicle.

ELF, which was etched on the shotgun, refers to low-frequency electromagnetic waves. Some conspiracy theorists believe the technology is used by the government for the monitoring and manipulating of unsuspecting people.

Federal authorities went through Alexis’ thumb drives, phones, and computers. They obtained a message from Alexis that says, “Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest, that is what has driven me to this.”

There was a prior indicator that Alexis had a delusion belief of being controlled. Last month, police were called to a hotel room in Rhode Island where a distressed Alexis claimed to be hearing voices through the floor and ceiling of his room.

Senior Lisa Sowinski says, “I think it’s really sad that this guy was so tormented by his own false thoughts that he had to take action and hurt other people. It’s also scary how easily he was able to get inside of the Navy Yard under that state of mind.”

This year (2013) has been the deadliest year due to mass shootings. Should Congress focus on gun control or mental health?

#HaleyMillan #mentalhealth #NavyYard #shooting

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