Navy Yard Shooting Victims Remembered by Friends and Family

Police have disclosed the identities of the 12 people killed by gunman Aaron Alexis in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in the US capital on Monday.

The defense leaders held the small ceremony to remember the 12 victims of the Navy Yard shooting that took place the day prior. The wreath was placed adjacent to “The Lone Sailor” who represents “all people who have ever served, are serving now, or are yet to serve in the United States Naval services”. Photo: Secretary of Defense/Flickr

It was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since November 2009, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas.

Family, friends and colleagues have begun to mourn the dozen civilians killed yesterday and now identified by authorities. The three women and nine men ranged in age from 46 to 73 and included retirees, parents, a bird lover and a divorcee.

Frank Kohler, who was one of 12 people gunned down in a shooting rampage Monday at a military facility in D.C., was remembered as a man who loved golf and his family.

Kohler, 50, was a past president of the Rotary Club in Lexington Park, Md. As such, he proudly held the title of “King Oyster” at the annual festival celebrating the region’s signature bivalve the third weekend of each October.

Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was a Navy veteran and avid pilot. Arnold and his wife, Jolanda, had been married for more than 30 years. They had two grown sons, Eric and Christopher.

The 62-year-old Kathy Gaarde was the mother of two loved animals and nature, and she liked to help count bluebirds for a local wildlife refuge in her spare time, her family said.

Gerald Read was devoted to his job as a project manager in information assurance at the Navy Yard and also to animals, said his wife of 35 years, Cathy. Six years ago, the Alexandria, Virginia couple started a professional pet care company called Biscuit Break Pet Service, and their daughter now runs the business.

Arthur Daniels, 51, was shot in the back as he and a colleague arrived at an elevator to get out of the building during the rampage. Priscilla Daniels, his wife, said Arthur worked at the Navy Yard on and off as a handyman for 17 years.

Sylvia Frasier, 53, had worked at Naval Sea Systems Command as an information assurance manager since 2000, according to a LinkedIn profile in her name.

The oldest victim, Johnson was about to celebrate his 74th birthday next month, his family said. His relatives were planning a big gathering, as they did every year, said daughter Megan Johnson, 42. He was a civilian employee of the Navy, described as a “smart man” by a neighbor. He had lived at his home in Derwood for more than 30 years and was “just delightful”, the neighbour said.

The 46-year-old Kenneth Proctor was a civilian utilities foreman at the Navy Yard. He didn’t work in Building 197, where the shooting unfolded, but would go there for breakfast, said  his ex-wife, Evelyn.

“We were still very close. It wasn’t a bitter divorce,” she said, referring to their split earlier this year. “We still talked every day, and we lived 10 minutes away from each other.”

Martin Bodrog, of Annandale and his wife Melanie have three daughters. He graduated from U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He then spent 22 years in the Navy in Surface Warfare officer, retiring as a Commander.

Pandit grew up in Mumbai, India, attended a Calcutta university and moved to the United States in the mid-1970s. He earned a second undergraduate degree in marine engineering, at the University of Michigan, and then a master’s degree, friends said.

Mary Knight, 51, an information technology specialist from Reston, Va., had recently received a big promotion and witnessed the marriage of her older daughter, her mother said.

Mike Ridgell, of Westminster, Maryland, was a veteran of the Maryland state police, according to his page on Facebook, where his daughters and other family members posted tributes and photographs.

In an interview with Telemundo, the president said that he had brought the gun debate about as far as he personally could after the shooting last December in Newtown, Conn.

But the legislative branch is a co-equal. And if legislative items like expanded background checks on gun purchases are to pass, he said, Congress will have to take the next step, says the Huff Post.

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