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Chaplains visit site of killings

20 September 2013

By a staff reporter


Crime scene: police stand guard at the Navy Yard on Tuesday

Crime scene: police stand guard at the Navy Yard on Tuesday

CHAPLAINS rushed to comfort the injured and grieving at the Washington Navy Yard, where 12 people were killed by a gunman this week.

A former US Navy serviceman, Aaron Alexis, died after a gun-battle with police at the Navy Yard on Monday morning. Reports suggest that he had mental-health problems, and was known to police for two previous gun-related incidents.

Naval chaplains on the base, and others from bases near by, were brought in to assist those affected by the incident. Washington Cathedral offered prayers throughout the day for the victims, their families, and those treating them.

The Dean, the Very Revd Gary Hall, said: "All of us at Washington National Cathedral heard the news of this morning's shootings at the Washington Navy Yard with a mixture of shock and sadness. We mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation."

The US Senate adjourned for the day in response to the shootings.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop for the Military Services, the Most Revd Timothy Broglio, said that the US had to "restore the notion of respect for life". He said that he had frequently visited the Navy Yard.

"Somehow we must restore the notion of respect for life into the fabric of the nation," he said. "When the uniqueness of the human person created in the image and likeness of God is universally recognised, the possibility of a mass shooting is more remote."

Saddleback pastor interviewed. The pastor of Saddleback Church, in California, the Revd Rick Warren, has spoken out after stepping out of the spotlight in response to his youngest son's suicide (News, 12 April).

In his first interview since his son's death, with Piers Morgan on CNN, Mr Warren said: "When I heard about those deaths, at the Navy Yard, the first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray for those families."

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