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Two with NC ties killed in Navy Yard rampage

Posted September 17, 2013

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— Two of the victims in Monday's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., had ties to North Carolina. 

Mary DeLorenzo Knight, 51, of Reston, Va., grew up in the Fayetteville area, where her mother and father still live. John Roger Johnson, 73, owned a home in Nags Head and has family in Durham.

Knight and Johnson worked at the Navy Yard and were among the 12 people killed when, authorities say, Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old defense contract employee and former Navy reservist, opened fire inside Building 197 Monday morning.

At least 14 others were injured. Alexis was killed in a gunfight with police.

Knight, born in Germany, was one of three daughters of a former Green Beret instructor who served at the Fort Bragg Army installation.

She attended Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville and reportedly attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied computer science.

Knight was also a part-time instructor of information technology at the Annandale and Loudon campuses of Northern Virginia Community College, a school spokeswoman said.

Her mother, Lilly DeLorenzo, last spoke to her Sunday night in a brief conversation. Knight said she was liking her job as an information technology specialist at the Navy Yard and was still glowing from watching her daughter recently get married.

Mary Knight Fayetteville mom in shock over daughter's Navy Yard death

"She was happy with life, and now this," DeLorenzo said. "I don't know what to tell you. I'm still in shock. I'm still in shock."

Johnson's family is also struggling to make sense of the senseless.

"We're kind of in a state of shock right," said Reid Churchill, Johnson's brother-in-law. "You see these newscasts that are broadcast every evening and you're kind of shielded from it because it never really hits home."

Churchill said Johnson loved his job as a logistics analyst at the Navy Yard and enjoyed going fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. 

John Johnson Durham family mourns man killed in Navy Yard rampage

U.S. and North Carolina flags on government buildings have been ordered to fly at half-staff until Sunday in tribute to her and Monday's other victims.

It's still unclear what drove Alexis to carry out the attack — the deadliest mass shooting on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

U.S. law enforcement authorities, however, say he acted alone and had valid security clearance to get onto the installation.

Described as a Buddhist convert, Alexis reportedly suffered numerous mental problems, including paranoia and sleep disorder.

U.S. law enforcement officials have said that he had been hearing voices and was undergoing treatment in the weeks before the rampage.

23 Comments

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 18, 3:56 p.m.

    torchhappy - "This man should have NEVER been able to purchase a firearm with the amount of mental problems and arrest record that he had.. The reason he was able to is because someone in the goverment got lazy and didn't do the thorough background check that was required to purchase a firearm."

    It wasn't someone in the government.

    It was someone in a Virginia gun seller's shop, and they should lose their license to sell permanently IMO.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 18, 3:55 p.m.

    Condolences to their loved ones.

  • torchhappysean Sep 18, 8:31 a.m.

    This is another tragic situation that could of been avoided if state and goverments would start sharing information on a more efficent scale NOT by creating tighter gun laws.. This man should have NEVER been able to purchase a firearm with the amount of mental problems and arrest record that he had.. The reason he was able to is because someone in the goverment got lazy and didn't do the thorough background check that was required to purchase a firearm...

  • mewuvbb Sep 17, 5:57 p.m.

    We need to continue to fight for more care for the mentally ill, and not cut that budget. Heartfelt prayers to all families that lost loved ones during this massacre

  • golorealist Sep 17, 4:59 p.m.

    "This story is about her, yes, but if WRAL did not have all of the facts regarding the "ties" to Fayetteville, then the title of the story should not have been what it was." - blessedwoman

    wral knows the facts...they opted for some reason not to post them.

  • djofraleigh Sep 17, 4:34 p.m.

    She's a beautiful woman. I love her smile. I guess none of us know when or where, just that it's coming. She was a beautiful woman.

  • BlessedWoman Sep 17, 3:58 p.m.

    golorealist, thank you.
    ____________________________________________________________
    _______

    "This is not about what WRAL reports this is about this women. Bless her family. May they find some comfort" -cbs79132

    This story is about her, yes, but if WRAL did not have all of the facts regarding the "ties" to Fayetteville, then the title of the story should not have been what it was. They provided no information as to the subject of the title. I read for information, while it is really none of our business in the first place, but if they put it out there, they should state the facts. That's all. Just because I am asking for more details, it doesnt mean I am forgetting who the story is about. Please excuse me for wanting to know more about her.

  • Offshore Sep 17, 3:56 p.m.

    this really is grasping for straws to tie yourself to a national news story

    My condolences (sic) to the family.
    PDMARTIN

    My thoughts exactly, WRAL is famous for this.

  • PDMARTIN Sep 17, 3:38 p.m.

    this really is grasping for straws to tie yourself to a national news story

    My condolences (sic) to the family.

  • disgusted2010 Sep 17, 3:23 p.m.

    WRAL wants to be relevant and important so bad that they will grasp at any pitiful tie they can dream up to this area. I guess its part of the "Breaking News" mentality and their desperate attempt to entertain and push their agenda. What ever happened to reporting news?

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