September 17, 2013

Navy yard shooting victims had long careers there

The Associated Press

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This photo provided by the family of Vishnu Pandit shows the 61-year-old man from North Potomac, Md., who was one of the 12 victims killed in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Pandit family)

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This photo provided by the family of Martin Bodrog, shows the 54-year-old man from Annandale, Va., who was one of the 12 victims killed in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Bodrog family)

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THE VICTIMS

The names of the 12 victims killed in Monday's shooting rampage at Washington Navy Yard:

— Michael Arnold, 59

— Martin Bodrog, 54

— Arthur Daniels, 51

— Sylvia Frasier, 53

— Kathy Gaarde, 62

— John Roger Johnson, 73

— Frank Kohler, 50

— Mary Francis Knight, 51

— Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46

— Vishnu Pandit, 61

— Gerald L. Read, 58

— Richard Michael Ridgell, 52

"He walks around with a crown and robe and gives out candy," said Bob Allen, Kohler's former boss at Lockheed Martin in southern Maryland. "In fact, he was in charge of the beer stand. I used to have that job and when I left, I handed it off to him."

The married father of two college-age daughters had driven up to the Washington Navy Yard for a meeting Monday when the shootings occurred, friends told Allen. Allen said Kohler had taken over for him as site manager for the defense contractor.

Kohler was working for Information Concepts in Management, LLC, a subcontractor of TWD & Associates, Inc. He had been on the NAVSEA project just under two years, according to a TWD statement released Tuesday.

He was a 1985 graduate of Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock University in computer science. Allen said Kohler was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and an avid, though not overly skilled, golfer.

"He could probably shoot in the low 90s," Allen said in a telephone interview Tuesday from Bradenton, Fla. When Allen retired, Kohler picked his gift — a gold pocket watch with the inscription, "From your friends in Lockheed Martin to help you putt into the future."

Kohler lived on the water with his wife, Michelle, an employee at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Allen said his friend loved to boat and fish, and went on frequent hunting trips to Canada.

"A great family man, a Christian, and a great friend," he said. "It just doesn't seem possible. I mean, you hear about these things all the time ... But when you know somebody, it just makes it all the worse ... It's a huge loss for southern Maryland."

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

"I don't know how this happened," Liliana DeLorenzo, 76, said from her home in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday. "She was a good daughter and a good mother and a hard worker. It's a loss. It's a great loss."

Knight was born in Germany, where 1st Sgt. Frank DeLorenzo, a Green Beret instructor who did a tour in Vietnam, was stationed at the time. When she was about 10, the family was transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Liliana DeLorenzo, a native of Trieste, Italy, said her daughter attended local schools and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"She was a No. 1 student," the proud mother said. "She always liked to go to school."

Knight, the oldest of three children, had recently been promoted at work to GS 15 — the top civil service pay grade, her mother said. Last month, her older daughter, Nicole, 25, married a soldier.

DeLorenzo said Knight's younger daughter, Daniel (she said this was how to spell it), 20, was living with her in Reston while attending college. She said Knight never expressed any concerns about working at the Navy Yard.

Having watched her own husband and other soldiers go off to war, she never dreamed she had to worry about her civilian daughter.

"They survived, these soldiers, Afghanistan, Iraq and all that, and then they get over here and get killed," she said with a sigh. "I don't know what to say. I've been in shock. We've been in shock over such a thing. ...

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