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Shawn Nelson goes on a Tank Rampage in San Diego 1995

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Published on May 30, 2015

On May 17th, 1995, Former U.S. Veteran Shawn Timothy Nelson stole an M60A3 Patton Tank and went on a rampage in San Diego, California before finally being fatally shot by San Diego Police.

The tank was not loaded with any shells. Ammunition was inside another location of the California National Guard Armory. Shawn was eventually spotted but it was too late and had already started the tank and drove away. Had he had loaded the tank with shells the destruction he could have caused would have been catastrophic but unknown to many, it requires more than one individual to fire a tank. Sure I suppose one man could do it alone but it would be a more lengthy process.

Many would say he was just a lunatic in a tank, or that he played too much Grand Theft Auto. I believe Shawn Nelson was not a lunatic. He had a moment of insanity due to many contributing factors that lead up to the destruction on the city. He was divorced, both of his parents died of cancer, terminated from his job, house in foreclosure, utilities cut off, and his live-in girlfriend died of a drug overdose. A man who fell on hard times.

We are all capable to snap at the breaking point when you have nothing to lose.

Background music is called Strength of a Thousand Men by Two Steps from Hell.

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