Who were the victims of the Navy Yard shooting?
Twelve people -- from a former Maryland State Police trooper to a man building a two-seater plane to a the president of a St. Mary’s County Rotary Club chapter -- were killed when suspected gunman Aaron Alexis opened fire at a Washington Navy Yard facility Monday morning.
The victims, who ranged in age from 46 to 73, worked in various jobs at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters. One designed Navy vessels, another was a Navy engineering contractor and one was a financial analyst. One man lived in Owings Mills, while others hailed from Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, Montgomery County and Washington.
( Family photo / September 17, 2013 )
Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Owings Mills
Richard Ridgell went by "Mike," his father-in-law Thomas Lyons said.
He grew up in Brooklyn in Anne Arundel County and worked as a Maryland State Police trooper before working in the Navy Yard. State police Sgt. Marc Black said Ridgell worked for the agency from January 1983 and had achieved the rank of corporal when he resigned in August 2000. He had three daughters - Heather, Megan, in her early 20s, and Madison, a high school senior - and devoted much of his free time to them.
"He loved his softball, loved his steamed crabs," Lyons said. "Mike was a good father, a trooper. He loved softball, loved to play softball and coached his daughters' softball teams through this summer season."
Before working for a Navy contractor, Lyons said, he spent about five years in Iraq as a private security consultant working with Iraqi security forces. Ridgell lived in Owings Mills, Lyons said. He lived prior to that in Westminster.
He worked for DynCorp International from 2010 to 2011 on its civilian police training contract in Iraq, said a company spokeswoman.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Ridgell's family, and to all who lost a loved one in this senseless tragedy," DynCorp said in a statement. "Several years ago Mr. Ridgell was a member of our CIVPOL program in Iraq - a program that requires law enforcement professionals to travel to remote locations, often placing themselves in harm's way, to promote stability around the world. His commitment to serving and bringing peace to communities here at home and abroad makes this loss all the more tragic."
Martin Herman, president of Special Response Corp., a Maryland security firm where Ridgell worked until last year, called him outgoing, "always in a good mood ... a real people person."
--Justin George and Richard Simon, Tribune Washington Bureau