A woman from Fayetteville was among those killed Monday in the Navy Yard tragedy in Washington.
Mary Francis Knight, 51, was a civilian contractor working in information technology at the Navy Yard, according to family spokesman Theodore Hisey. Knight had been in the Washington area for about five years. She lived in Virginia and commuted into the city, Hisey said.
"She had big plans. It's just too bad what happened. It really is," commented Knight's mother, Liliana DeLorenzo. "God almighty. We're still in shock here."
Her mother said the mother of two grew up as Mary DeLorenzo, and she graduated from Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984.
DeLorenzo also said her daughter was "a career girl" who was always driven to meet goals. She said Knight was always good at school work. She remembered Knight spending lots of time on math.
"All business, straightforward and very honest and very loving -- a good soul, a good soul," DeLorenzo said about her daughter.
Records show Knight previously worked for the city of Fayetteville in "desktop support" from 1988 to 1994. DeLorenzo said Knight had also lived and worked in Germany before moving to Washington, D.C. for her job at the Navy Yard.
Knight also taught classes at Northern Virginia Community College.
"She was a great patriot who loved her country and loved serving the USA," Hisey said.
Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist, killed at least 12 people Monday before being killed himself. The stunning shootings and manhunt erupted Monday morning after 8 a.m. and riveted Americans in the worst tragedy to hit the national capital since Sept. 11, 2001.
The Washington Navy Yard is only about half a mile from the Capitol, on the Potomac River.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>