'I already dearly miss her': Portraits of the Navy Yard victims
Among the dozen people gunned down at the Washington Navy Yard shooting on Monday were mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives whose families waited anxiously to hear whether their relatives were among those killed on Monday in the deadliest mass shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary School. While much is still unknown about the gunman — identified by authorities as 34-year-old former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis — authorities have begun to release some of the names of the victims.
Michael Arnold, 59
A 29-year Navy veteran from Virginia, Arnold retired last October, the Associated Press reported, citing an article in the Navy Supply Corps Newsletter. He was building a light airplane at his Lorton, Va., home, his uncle told the AP.
“It would have been the first plane he ever owned,” said his uncle, Steve Hunter. “It’s partially assembled in his basement.”
Arnold held two master’s degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and was working with a team at the Navy Yard that designed amphibious assault vehicles for the Marine Corps, his uncle told the AP. He had been married to his wife for more than three decades, the uncle said, and had two grown sons.
“He was a loving son of his mother and his wife, and a great father to his kids,” Hunter told the AP. “It’s tragic. How can you get up in the morning and go to work and have that happen? How do bad things like that happen to good people?”
Sylvia Frasier, 53
Frasier had worked for four years with the Naval Sea Systems Command, according to a LinkedIn profile that bears her name. Relatives of Frasier, one of seven children, gathered at a family home in Prince George’s County on Monday, according to the Washington Post.
“No matter how we feel, no matter what information we get from the FBI, we have got to forgive,” Frasier’s sister Wendy Edmonds, 52, told the newspaper. “We have to forgive. We can’t become bitter.”
Frasier studied at Strayer University, and completed her bachelor of science in computer information systems in 2000, according to the LinkedIn profile. She went on to receive her master’s in information systems from Strayer in 2002, the profile says.
Kathy Gaarde, 62
A beloved wife and mother, Gaarde worked as a financial analyst at the shipyards, her husband Douglass told the AP in an email on Tuesday morning.
“Today my life partner of 42 years (38 of them married) was taken from me, my grown son and daughter, and friends,” Douglass Gaarde wrote to the AP, saying that he was having difficulty sleeping. “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.”
Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46
A civilian employee at the shipyards who had spent 22 years working for the federal government, Proctor had called his ex-wife on Monday morning, the woman told the AP.
“He just went in there in the morning for breakfast,” Evelyn Proctor told the AP on Monday. “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.”
The two high school sweethearts married in 1994 before divorcing this year, the AP reported. They shared custody of their two boys, aged 15 and 17.
“He loved the Redskins. Loved his kids – a very loving, caring, gentle person. His kids meant a lot to him,” Evelyn Proctor told the AP.