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.
( Courtesy of the Johnson Family / September 17, 2013 )
John Roger Johnson, 73, of Derwood
John Johnson could have retired years ago, but a longtime family friend said the man they referred to as "JJ" loved the work. For years, the 73-year-old father of four daughters - the oldest victim killed - worked as an engineer at the Navy Yard.
"The sad part of this is the man who committed this horrible crime needed someone to talk to ... and John would have been the kind of person he could have gone and talked to," said Rebecca Woodward, a Pennsylvania woman whose son married one of Johnson's daughters.
"I know that John would be the first person to forgive him," she said.
Johnson worked for a Navy engineering contractor for years, including when the shipbuilding unit was in Crystal City, Va., Woodward said. In his off time, in the home where he raised his four daughters, Johnson spent time with his nine grandchildren. His family called him the "baby whisperer" for his ability to calm crying infants.
A 10th grandchild is expected in November.
"It's so sad that he'll not get to know this baby," said Woodward.
When he wasn't horsing around with the kids, Johnson liked to visit a beach home he and his wife own in Nags Head, N.C. Ocean fishing, Woodward said, was Johnson's "nirvana."
"He was just such a big kid," she said. "One thing about John, you always braced yourself when John walked in the room because there was a huge bear hug coming at you."
--John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun