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If you read the news accounts, the shooting of an airman from McGuire Air Force Base has no rhyme or reason:
An airman from McGuire Air Force Base remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition at a Camden hospital Thursday, a day after he was shot in the chest by another man who then took his own life.
The exact circumstances of Wednesday evening’s bizarre attempted murder-suicide on Windsor Lane remained under investigation by township detectives and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Authorities said they are still trying to determine if the gunman, identified as Matthew J. Marren, 22, of Pennsauken, knew and specifically targeted the victim, Jonathan Schrieken, 22, or if his shooting of the airman was a random act.
But, based on their preliminary investigation, authorities said in a news release Thursday that it “appears to be a random act of violence and there is no indication to believe, at this time, that other individuals (were) involved in this incident.”
There’s more to the story. LGF heard from a reader whose son is the best friend of the victim:
My son’s best friend, Jon, who’s in the Air Force stationed in New Jersey at Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base was shot by a crazed anti-military white guy on Independence Day and he remains in critical condition. He had been on leave here in Ohio and got back to his home off base and was unpacking stuff from his car when this 22 year old guy walked up to him and asked him if he lived in the house. When Jon said yes, the guy said “not any more” and shot him point blank in the chest. He tried to shoot him again, but his gun jammed. Jonathan made it into the house. The guy then shot himself. Turns out the guy left a couple of suicide notes stating how much he hated the military and he wanted to go out making a statement, so he chose to make his statement on Independence Day trying to kill a soldier. We are very worried about our Airman. He’s the sweetest, nicest, do anything for ya kid and he’s like a son to me. He’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan on our behalf and then gets shot in his own driveway here in the U.S by an anti-war, anti-American lunatic. This is gut wrenching.
A few more details are trickling in about the gunman’s “anger” at the government:
The Pennsauken man who shot and wounded a member of the U.S. Air Force before killing himself left suicide notes that indicated he was “angry at the government and wanted to make a statement” on Independence Day, one of the man’s relatives said yesterday.
Matthew J. Marren, 22, of Walnut Avenue, drove to a home on Windsor Lane rented by Senior Airman Jonathan Schrieken, 22, at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Marren got of this vehicle, found Schrieken outside the house, shot him once in the chest with a small-caliber firearm, then turned the gun on himself, said Burlington County First Assistant Prosecutor Ray Milavsky.
Marren was pronounced dead at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro later Wednesday night.
Schrieken was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden where was listed in critical but stable condition yesterday afternoon, Milavsky said.
Schrieken is stationed at McGuire Force Base. He works as a loadmaster for the 6th Airlift Squadron.
Marren’s aunt, Terina Henderson of Trion, Ga., said she spoke to Marren’s mother yesterday who told her Marren left two notes, one in his home and one in his car, indicating he was upset with the government.
She said she did not know the exact wording in the notes, but said Marren was “mad at the government and wanted to make a statement … that’s why he did what he did on the Fourth of July.”
She did not know if Marren knew Schrieken or whether Marren shot him because he was affiliated with the military.
The circumstances and motive for the shooting were under investigation, Milavsky said yesterday. He confirmed the existence of two suicide notes, but declined to discuss the contents due to the ongoing investigation.
“I can confirm that two notes were left and that they were indicative of an individual suffering from mental-health problems,” he said.
Patrick Poole at The American Thinker notes the media silence on the story:
If Airman Schrieken had been an abortionist or homosexual, this story would be front page news for the New York Times and the lead story on CBS News with Katie Couric for at least the next month. But since Schrieken is serving in the military, even his hometown newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, has ignored this story.
Predictably, a law enforcement spokesman says that Marren’s suicide notes “were indicative of an individual suffering from mental-health problems”, but that raises the question of how anyone could identify anyone suffering from mental-health problems amidst those devoted to bizarre conspiracy theories and the virulent anti-Americanism of the antiwar movement. If anything, Marren would have fit right in unnoticed.
It is also worth noting that Marren was merely following the logic of the anti-war movement’s standard public rhetoric. Their language is laced with suggestive undertones justifying attacks against our military, calling our armed forces fighting the War on Terror “baby-killers”, constantly invoking the specter of Abu Ghraib, and citing their grossly inflated statistics of civilians accidentally killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such reckless and unbalanced rhetoric (they’re not quite as adept at keeping statistics on those murdered by terrorists) fuels the hatred that drives someone like Marren to violence against a member of our own military.