GTA Linked In Submarine Shooting

[drop2]“Sailor’s ‘GTA Gun Spree’ on nuke sub” headlines this morning’s Metro, which is likely to ignite fresh discussion on the oft-raised subject of violent games.

“A crewman,” starts the article, “who killed an officer in a gun rampage aboard a nuclear submarine told friends he was planning ‘a Grand Theft Auto-style massacre'”.


The story makes uncomfortable reading.

Ryan Donovan was jailed yesterday for 25 years for the murder of Lt Cmdr Molyneux and the attempted murder of others.  He was talking days prior to the event about GTA, a game that the prosecutor in the case said involved “starting a massacre” and “racking up points by killing”.

Donovan committed the murder after a) a heavy night’s drinking and b) been given an SA80 rifle for guard duty.  He was also ‘full of resentment’ after being told he would be punished for disobeying a direct order to clean the sub.

Twitter this morning has been full of discussion on the topic, and it’s yet another story linked to Rockstar’s headline-grabbing series.

Our thoughts go out to the families affected.



  1. If someone is influenced by a game so much, and it makes them unable to tell right from wrong, then in my view something, eventually, will set them off. The individual clearly has some issues and they are to blame, not the game.

    • +1

    • Precisely, the reporting is infuriating!

      • Exactly! If I see another story like this, well, I… I will play GoW and rip people’s heads off, ‘cos that’s the sort of person I am – a psychopathic maniac, the only difference between me and other people of my kind is that my condition only applies to games.

  2. bet GTA made jack the ripper act the way he did as well.

  3. I don’t remember the bit where you “start a massacre” in GTA and it must be a different version to the one I played cos that didn’t have a points system at all.

    • My thoughts exactly! I wish people would at least get their facts straight before having yet another go at the games industry. Alan Titchmarsh and Jo Frost were both the same, grossly misinformed before speaking to an largely unknowing audience.

  4. why is it always the GTA series?

  5. OH FFS! Strange how they are quickly to blame video games and ignore any possible mental health issues. I knew it wouldn’t take the media very long to blame video games on something after the one bit of good news yesterday.

    This doesn’t even deserve a facepalm. I shall give it a middle finger and some rotten cabbages.

    • Yeah, I even said so yesterday, picked the wrong game but meh. Such a shame anyhow :(
      Not the first time I’ve heard of someone drinking and shooting in the British ranks though sadly.

    • “Ignore any possible mental health issues.”

      Having mental health issues does not typically lead to murder. I’m sure you meant your comment in the nicest way possible, and Donovan may have indeed faced problems, but there is a lot of unfair stigma attached to mental health issues without comments suggesting that murders are always carried out by people with such issues.

      Please don’t see this as having a go, just pointing out how your comment came across. :)

  6. So the guy’s been out on a session all night, and then they hand him an assault rifle. Yep, computer games are definately to blame

    • That’s what I was gonna say.
      And why did none of his friends react? He apparently told them that he was going to do something like this.
      A horrible tragedy nonetheless.

  7. Really? GTA? Not, say, Hunt For The Red October? I’m sure that had a video game version.

    • Crimson Tide surely. Although don’t know if there was a video game version.

  8. On trial the sailor apologized for getting the wrong Molyneux. He said he was just too enraged about Fable 3 not living up to his expectations.

    Jokes aside, I don’t actually care about the news or anyone blaming games for these kind of things. It’s the people who commit these crimes that we should worry about and it’s the families of the victims that suffer, not the gaming industry.
    Sad times.

  9. I’ve been a Chef since 97, GTA’s fault.
    I’ve smoked since 97, GTA’s fault.
    Web design, didn’t. take driving test, listened to Cypress Hill, all 97, all GTA’s fault.

  10. Oh right, so its nothing to do with the fact that these guys are taught to kill, have access to firearms and the British Navy has been at war more or less since boats were invented !

Comments are now closed for this post.