Yet another tragic shooting occurred today, this time at a Pathmark store in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Armed with a handgun and an assault rifle similar to an AK-47, Terence Tyler, 23, entered the store where he worked and opened fire at about 3 A.M. this morning. More than a dozen of his colleagues were inside inputting prices into the computer system.
An assistant manager quickly guided some of the employees out the back door, but the shooting claimed the life of two young people. Bryan Been, 24, and Christine LoBrutto, 18, were killed in the assault and five others were injured. After firing sixteen rounds from his rifle, Tyler turned the gun on himself.
What makes this horrific worse is that it, like many shootings, could have been prevented if only someone had taken the warning signs seriously. Tyler, whose family says is a former Marine who suffers from depression, once tweeted about killing “everyone I see.” His Facebook page cover photo also reads, “Be optimistic. All the people you hate are going to die eventually.”
Authorities have not released a motive for the murders. Friends describe the young man as “quiet” and “blank.” Family members report that he never recovered from his mother’s death from cancer a few years ago and has since been withdrawn and depressed. The five year anniversary of her death is next week.
I can’t help but wonder how much gun violence must happen, how many more of these mass shootings will occur, before we agree as a nation that it is time to re-evaluate our gun laws and regulations. There is no reasonable explanation for the desire to own an automatic assault weapon.
A vigil is planned for the victims on Friday at the school from which they graduated.
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