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‘Horrible and Senseless’ Tragedy

Four area residents killed in Navy Yard rampage.

Decorated U.S. Navy Commander Martin Bodrog’s life was cut short when 34-year-old Aaron Alexis opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, Sept. 16, killing Bodrog and 11 others. He was remembered in a moving Celebration of Life service at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield on Saturday, Sept. 21 attended by more than 1,300 friends and family.

Bodrog, who worked as a civilian at the Navy Yard overseeing the design and procurement of Navy ships, was one of four Fairfax County residents shot to death inside Building #197 of the Washington Navy Yard. The rampage also took the lives of Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton; Mary Francis Knight, 51, of Reston and Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria.

The incident was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since the Fort Hood shootings in 2009.

“Martin Bodrog served his nation, his family, and his God,” said U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11), in a statement Monday.

“He was in the prime of life when he was taken from his loved ones in the horrible and senseless tragedy that took place at the Washington Navy Yard. I send my condolences to the Bodrog family, as well as the families of Mary Francis Knight, Michael Arnold, and all those who were killed or injured in the Navy Yard incident,” Connolly said.

Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sent a statement to The Connection on the shootings Saturday. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, she led the board in a moment of silence recognizing the victims.

“The Navy Yard shooting is a horrific tragedy. Twelve innocent people lost their lives, including four Fairfax County residents. Such heinous acts often have deep and far-reaching effects on the local community, and we must be sure to support those struggling with the aftermath of this traumatic event. Fairfax County’s tightly-knit community and our public safety team will do all we can do to reassure residents so they feel safe in their homes or going to work. Our thoughts, prayers and support are with those affected by this tragedy.”