September 19, 2013

DC-Navy-Yard-Shooting-Lawyer

The Cochran Firm DC remembers the victims and families affected by the Washington, DC Navy Yard Tragedy (Credit: Tim Evanson)

Like all D.C. area residents, we were shocked and saddened to learn of Monday’s shooting at the Washington Naval Yard that senselessly took 12 lives and left eight victims injured.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families who were killed by the shooting.  Monday was a tragedy for the Washington, D.C. area and the nation.

We are grateful to the local Washington, D.C. and federal law enforcement officers who showed bravery and courage in finding the perpetrator and ending the violence.  As a mark of respect for the victims, President Obama has ordered that all flags on government property be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday, September 20.

At The Cochran Firm, D.C., we hope that the ensuing investigations and discussions will lead to policies and procedures that prevent senseless tragedies like this from ever occurring again.  Military and civilian personnel who patriotically serve our country deserve better.  The Navy Yard shooting was the worst mass shooting at a military installation since the Fort Hood, Texas massacre in 2009 and the deadliest single incident in the District of Columbia in more than three decades.

Police have not said what the 34-year-old shooter Aaron Alexis’ motives were in carrying out the killings.  Given that Alexis had two prior firearm charges, serious questions remain about how he managed to get a secret-level security clearance as an hourly computer tech employee, how he had access to weapons, how he accessed the military base, how he cleared a security checkpoint with a contractor ID badge, and how he was honorably discharged after reports of misconduct.  President Obama has also ordered the Office of Management and Budget to review and analyze the security standards for government contractors and federal employees.

Washington , D.C. police have released the names of the 12 victims tragically killed in the Navy Yard shooting: John Johnson, 73; Michael Arnold, 59; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; Arthur Daniels, 51; Kathy Gaarde, 62; Mary Francis Knight, 51; Vishnu Pandit, 61; Frank Kohler, 50; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Gerald L. Read, 58; Martin Bodrog, 54; and Richard Michael Ridgell, 52.

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has established a fund to support victims and families affected by the Navy Yard shooting.  Donations to the Navy Yard Relief Fund are tax deductible.  The Community Foundation also established a Safer Communities Fund that will support organizations that offer mental health services and work to reduce gun violence.

Our condolences go out to all the victims and their loved ones and families who have been impacted by this horrific event.