Pinay worker 'shaken' after Navy Yard shooting lockdown
NAVY YARD, Washington D.C. – US flags fly at half-staff in Washington DC a day after yet another shooting rampage that brought fear and confusion among the workers at the Washington Navy Yard, a military facility just three miles away from the White House, four miles from the Philippine Embassy, where dozens of Filipinos are among its 3000 employees.
Thirteen people were killed including the lone gunman while 14 others injured many of them are still being treated in nearby hospitals
Reports said the gunman, Aaron Alexis, walked into Building 197 and opened fire from above an atrium overlooking his victims.
Authorities said Alexis was killed after an encounter with security. His motive is still not clear at this time.
For hours, the military facility was on lockdown.
The Migrant Heritage Commission said dozens of Filipinos had to leave their cell phones and cars behind after they were released from a few hours of lockdown. They were all safe.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr said the embassy closely monitored the situation and is relived to report that no Filipinos were reported hurt or killed at the shooting.
Annie Wielderman was among those who spent several hours on lockdown in Building 200, just a stone's throw away from Building 179 where it all happened.
Community leader Eric Lachica said Wielderman was ready to share her story to Balitang America but she later relayed that she was so shaken by the events that she needed more time alone.
"The media term 'massacre' is bringing back bad memories from 9/11. Yung sila Annie and others were kinda relieved na they were released yesterday evening. They've been debriefed and were told to seek assistance and help, counseling if necessary. I think that's a good way of dealing with stress, the traumatized feeling that they have," Lachica said.
Lachica said the shooting at the Navy Yard is yet another lesson learned in terms of ensuring mental health and security goes hand-in-hand and should be a priority in the work place.
"We have to lookout for our fellow co-workers who are going through emotional difficulties. We should be very concerned about them. We should, hindi tayo dapat mahiya na makausap sila, and counsel them to seek help, professional help. The shooter had lots of emotional and psychiatric problems. Sa ating Fil-Am community mahiyain tayo, we don't deal with those issues," he said.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a worldwide security review at all US military installations to make sure security measures are in place.
"You may have the best security policies in place and safeguards, even with that nakalusot si Alexis sa security, because some people didn't follow the policies. They have to review that," added Lachica.