Relative: Navy Yard worker was face-to-face with shooter

September 17, 2013

As a 56-year-old longtime Navy civilian tried to flee the Navy Yard’s Building 197 amid gunshots Monday morning, she came face-to-face with the shooter, according to the woman’s mother-in-law.

The Springfield, Va., woman was shot in the shoulder at close range and was one of a small number of victims who survived gunshots during the attack. She underwent nearly six hours of surgery to her shoulder, her mother-in-law said.

The Washington Post generally does not identify surviving victims of crimes.

“They faced each other,” she said, referring to her daughter-in-law and alleged shooter Aaron Alexis. “The blow was very extensive.”

The woman’s mother-in-law said she first learned of the carnage at the Navy Yard when her son called her shortly after it happened.

Read eyewitness accounts from the Navy Yard shooting.

“He said, ‘Mother pray,’” she said. “He said something is wrong.”

He then asked her if she had watched the news. She told him she had not and turned on the television, learning that numerous people had been killed and wounded.

On Tuesday, she said she wasn’t sure of her daughter-in-law’s updated condition, since she had not spoken with her son since Monday. The victim’s husband and family were with her as she recovered from her injuries.

“She’s a very intelligent, very effective person,” she said of her daughter-in-law. “The good Lord spared her life. It is a miracle she is alive.”

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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