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

"You really don't think about the parents and relatives, what they go through. Now I know."

___

Marine engineer and naval architect Vishnu Pandit, 61, was a hard-working Indian immigrant, known for his devotion family, community and his 30-year civilian Navy career.

"He was very dedicated to improving the performance of naval ships and systems," longtime friend M. Nuns Jain said Tuesday outside the North Potomac, Md., home where Pandit's family privately mourned. "The only saving grace in this horrible incident is that he died doing what he loved the most in the service of his nation."

Jain said Pandit, a Mumbai native, earned a bachelor's degree in marine engineering in India in 1973 before coming to America and earning a degree in naval architecture from the University of Michigan.

He said Pandit sailed with the U.S. Merchant Marine before joining the Naval Sea Systems Command, headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard.

Married to his wife Anjali since 1978, Pandit had two sons and a granddaughter, Jain said.

"He was a real family man and he loved dogs," including the family's golden retriever, Bailey, Jain said.

Neighbor Satish Misra said Pandit was on the home owners association board in their leafy subdivision, and active in the local Hare Krishna Hindu temple.

"He was a gentle man. I really loved him and his family," Misra said.

Pandit's family issued a statement thanking people for their condolences, thoughts and prayers.

"Our family is dealing with the loss of a kind and gentle man, and kindly requests that our privacy be respected," the statement read.

___

Kenneth Proctor, 46, worked as a civilian utilities foreman at the Navy Yard, his ex-wife, Evelyn Proctor, said. He spent 22 years working for the federal government, Evelyn Proctor said.

The Waldorf, Md., woman spoke to Kenneth early Monday morning before he left for work at the Navy Yard. It was his regular call. The high school sweethearts talked every day, even after they divorced this year after 19 years of marriage, and they shared custody of their two teenage sons.

She was in shock about her ex-husband's death.

"He just went in there in the morning for breakfast," Proctor said Monday night of the building where the shooting took place. "He didn't even work in the building. It was a routine thing for him to go there in the morning for breakfast, and unfortunately it happened."

Proctor said she tried to call her ex-husband throughout the day and drove to the Navy Yard on Monday afternoon, fearing the worst. After waiting for about three hours alongside other relatives concerned about their loved ones, she was informed around 8 p.m. that he was among the dead. Officials did not detail the circumstances of his shooting, she said.

The Proctors married in 1994 and divorced this year. Their older son, Kenneth Proctor Jr., 17, enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school this spring and is in basic training in Oklahoma. Their younger son, Kendull Proctor, is 15.

"We were still very close. It wasn't a bitter divorce," Evelyn Proctor said. "We still talked every day, and we lived 10 minutes away from each other."

Kenneth Proctor was born and raised in Charles County, Md., where he lived until his death.

"He loved the Redskins. Loved his kids — a very loving, caring, gentle person. His kids meant a lot to him," Evelyn Proctor said.

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