A dozen people died in a shooting rampage Sept. 16 at the Washington Navy Yard. The shooter also was killed. 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, Tex. The stories of the 12 who were gunned down and a police officer who survived are told here.
Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home, said his uncle, Steve Hunter.
“It would have been the first plane he ever owned,” Hunter said in a telephone interview from Rochester, Mich., Arnold’s hometown. “It’s partially assembled in his basement.”
Hunter said his nephew retired from the Navy. He worked at the Navy Yard on a team that designed vessels such as the USS Makin Island.
Arnold and his wife, Jolanda, had been married for more than 30 years, Hunter said. They had two grown sons, Eric and Christopher.
Martin Bodrog, 54, lived on a quiet, tree-shaded cul-de-sac in Annandale, Va., where family and friends gathered Sept. 17.
Jeff Prowse, a close friend, said Bodrog was a hardworking Navy veteran and graduate of the Naval Academy.
“A heart of gold, and one of the most humble, self-effacing guys,” said Prowse.
Prowse worked with Bodrog at the Pentagon on amphibious vessel programs. He said Bodrog was transferred from the Pentagon to the Navy Yard in January.
Bodrog had been married for 25 years to Melanie, whom he met while she was serving on active duty as a Navy nurse. They have three daughters, ages 23, 17 and 16.
Arthur Daniels, 51, of Washington, D.C., was a handyman working for a furniture contractor who just happened to be moving and installing furniture at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16 when the shooting began. He was the father of five children and the grandfather of nine.
Priscilla Daniels, 46, told the Washington Post she had kissed her husband that morning and teased that he should stay in bed because it was raining.
“I don’t know why they shot him,” she said. “He was a good father and hard worker.”
Every year, it was Arthur Daniels who cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the family.
On weekends, he spent time washing and polishing his white Crown Victoria.
Priscilla Daniels said she and her husband loved going out on the town with their shoes shined and hair done, holding hands. They were high school sweethearts, and all four of their sons were named after Arthur Daniels.
His death comes four years after the death of their 14-year-old son Arthur A. Daniels, who was shot and killed on a Washington street.
“My husband was the man I loved through all the tragedy,” Priscilla Daniels said. “I can’t believe this is happening again.”
Arthur Daniels was the family’s breadwinner. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray called Priscilla Daniels on Sept. 17 to offer condolences and asked if there was any life insurance, but the answer was no. The mayor said he would send a staff member to the house to discuss the family’s finances.
Sylvia Frasier, 53, of Waldorf, Md., had worked at Naval Sea Systems Command as an information assurance manager since 2000, according to a LinkedIn profile in her name.
Frasier studied at Strayer University, earning a bachelor of science in computer information systems in 2000 and a master’s in information systems in 2002. Her duties at NAVSEA included providing policy and guidance on network security, and assuring that all computer systems operated by the headquarters met Department of Navy and Department of Defense requirements.
She also led efforts “to establish and implement procedures to investigate security violations or incidents,” according to the profile.
Her brother, James Frasier, declined comment Monday night.
Kathleen Gaarde, 63, of Woodbridge, Va., was a financial analyst who supported the organization responsible for the shipyards, her husband, Douglass, wrote in an email to the AP Tuesday.
Douglass Gaarde declined to speak, but wrote that he was unable to sleep.
“Today my life partner of 42 years (38 of them married) was taken from me, my grown son and daughter, and friends,” he wrote. “We were just starting to plan our retirement activities and now none of that matters. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet but I know I already dearly miss her.”
Logistics analyst John Roger Johnson, 73, was perhaps most notorious for his bear hugs, his daughter said.
“Rib-crunchers,” Megan Johnson said with a laugh.
The Derwood, Md., man — the oldest of the victims in Monday’s shootings —was a “die-hard” Washington Redskins football fan who would have celebrated his 74th birthday on Oct. 7. He also leaves his wife, Judy, and four stepchildren.
Frank 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.
“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.”
The married father of two college-age daughters had driven up to the Washington Navy Yard for a meeting when the shootings occurred, friends told Allen.
Kohler was working for Information Concepts in Management, LLC, a subcontractor of TWD & Associates, Inc.
Kohler lived on the water with his wife, Michelle, an employee at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
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. “She was a good daughter and a good mother and a hard worker. It’s a loss. It’s a great loss.”
Marine engineer and naval architect Vishnu Pandit, 61, was known for his devotion to 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 Sept. 17 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.”
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.
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 Proctor early Sept. 16 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 Sept. 16 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.
Gerald L. Read’s son-in-law, Michael Giffin, said his family was not ready to speak yet about the 58-year-old’s death.
“We’re still trying to gather our thoughts,” said Giffin, who is married to Read’s daughter, Jessica. Read was from Alexandria, Va.
Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, was a passionate protector, both in his security work and in the way he treated his daughters during game-day trips to M&T Field to root for his beloved Baltimore Ravens.
Ridgell, a former Maryland State Police trooper, was working for a private security contractor at the Washington Navy Yard.
His children and estranged wife, Tracey, said they want the father of three daughters to be remembered as a loving, funny and patriotic man.
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Scott Williams was shot multiple times in the legs but survived.
After visiting Williams, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said he has some “pretty serious injuries” and is “pretty uncomfortable” but “in good spirits.”
Williams is an officer in the K9 division. He underwent surgery Sept. 16, and before he did, he wanted to call his mother, according to Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Orlowski initially said there was “concern” about whether he would be able to walk again. He was in stable condition.
“I’m real confident that he not only will walk again but probably will outrun most of us once again,” Lanier said.
Associated Press writers Amanda Kell, Ben Nuckols, Allen G. Breed, Emery P. Dalesio, Stacy A. Anderson, David Dishneau, Randall Chase and Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.
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