Ask anyone if they remember the mass murder at Virginia Tech and they will likely remember exactly where they were when they heard the news of the fatal events on April 16, 2007 when 32 were killed and another 17 were injured.
And as radical Islamic terrorist Nadil Hasan murdered 14 (including an unborn child) and wounded at least 28 others on November 5, 2009 we all were stunned as we learned the details of the incident and we were angered when we learned that the Army had systematically elected to promote him time and again rather than deal with the many reports that there was a problem with Hasan.
But how many of you know that there was a mass murder at Fairchild Hospital located at Fairfield Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington on June 20, 1994?
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know – until today. I heard about it from someone who worked at Fairchild Hospital, was there and witnessed the wounding, then murder of Anita Linder when he fired the fatal rounds into her head. She was 39 years old. I will name the victims, but out of respect for the witness who does not utter the murderer’s name, neither will I, I will call him what he is, a murderer. His name is in the reports.
On at least four occasions there were recommendations made to remove the murderer from the Air Force because he was not mentally fit for duty. On all four occasions, those recommendations were ignored by senior officers in the Air Force. (Sound familiar?)
In total, five people were murdered including two physicians, an eight-year old girl, Anita Lindner, and an unborn child; twenty-two people were wounded.
Details of the event were written and posted by Andy Brown and posted at FairfieldHospitalShooting.com. At the time, Brown was an Air Force Security Policeman who was on bike patrol when he received the call notifying of “a man with a gun at the hospital”. Brown was 24 years old at the time. Brown is also the man who ended the life of the murderer. Thank you Andy for taking swift action; you saved an untold number of lives that day. May God always bless you.
I encourage everyone to take a moment to visit the memorial website created by Brown and to read the details that led to this tragedy, but more importantly to pay respect and give remembrance to the 27 victims who were murdered or wounded who seemed to have been forgotten by all but those who were there. Let’s not forget them again.
Those we lost:
- Thomas E. Brigham, 31 (1962-1994), Major, USAF, psychiatrist
- Anita L. Lindner, 39 (1954-1994), dependent spouse
- Alan W. London, 40 (1954-1994), Captain, USAF, psychologist
- Christin F. McCarron, 8 (1986-1994), hospital visitor
- Taylor Mckenzie Sigman, (1994), Michelle Sigman’s unborn child
Those who were wounded:
- Delwyn Baker, 42, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
- Pauline Brown, 61, dependent spouse
- Patrick Deaton, 35, Technical Sergeant USAF
- Ruth Gerken, 71, dependent spouse
- Mark Hess, 35, USAF retired
- Omer Karns, 69, Disabled American Veterans volunteer driver
- Deena Kelly, 37, dependent spouse
- Orsen Lee, 64, US Army retired
- Dennis Moe, 41, Master Sergeant, USAF
- Kelly Moe, 13, dependent daughter
- Marlene Moe, 40, dependent spouse
- Melissa Moe, 15, dependent daughter
- Lorraine Murray, 62, dependent spouse
- Joseph Noone, 30, Staff Sergeant, USAF
- Hazel Roberts, 64, USAF retired
- Laura Rogers, 25, USAF active
- Michelle Sigman, 25, dependent spouse
- Samuel Spencer, 13, dependent son
- John Urick, 69, U.S. Navy, retired
- Eva Walch, 57, dependent spouse
- Anthony Zucchetto, 4, hospital visitor
- Janessa Zucchetto, 5, hospital visitor