Randy Stair (September 17th, 1992 – June 8th, 2017), mostly known by his online pseudonym Andrew Blaze, was a mentally ill American who resided in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
He murdered three of his coworkers in a mass shooting at a local Weis Supermarket and shortly thereafter killed himself. After the shooting, it was discovered Stair had left a big social media footprint, especially on YouTube. He was most notably obsessed with the character Ember from the Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom and even made a fictional group of girls all based on the character called “Ember’s Ghost Squad”. Even though Stair did not commit a school shooting, he idolized the Columbine High School shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, wrote about committing a school shooting, made an animated video of a school shooting, and wrote that “Weis Markets is officially Columbine High School.” He said that he would have gone back to his old high school and shoot it up, but it had been demolished the year he graduated.
He also believed he was a woman trapped in a man’s body (Transgender) and would often cross-dress when his family wasn’t home, according to him in a video. He wrote in his journal and filmed home videos of himself planning the massacre, and discussing his thoughts, which were all uploaded onto his now-deleted Mediafire page. He also planned to put a propane tank on his boss’s desk. However, it didn’t explode.
Randy Stair was strongly opposed to participating in therapy or seeing a counselor as he believed that doing so “alters who you are”. However, based on Stair’s claims and disclosure of significant events in his life, his mental health was anything but such.
Starting from his middle school years, evidence of Randy Stair’s disheveled mental state began to emerge. In written stories Stair had presented to his English teacher, the main characters would almost always end up being involved in some deadly incident that would kill said characters. Despite this, Stair claims that his works were never questioned by instructors. It was around this time that Randy’s fascination with death and the afterlife became an obsession, but was not a worthy cause of concern until Stair entered high school.
Stair reports that his suicidal ideation intensified by the time he [Randy] started high school. He began pondering methods of suicide, including asphyxiation and burning. On a trip to New York with his family, Randy reported that he contemplated jumping from a skyscraper to his death. In home videos filmed produced by Randy years later, he expressed remorse regarding the decision to not take his life during his teenage years.
Mental illnesses have been identified as long as there has been written, medical accounts. In fact, it was in 400 B.C. when Greek physician, Hippocrates, first started treating mental illness as physical diseases. While it took a long time for medicine to finally be able to reliably diagnose many mental illnesses, modern medicine now clearly defines mental disorders as diseases and part of their origin is biological.
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