BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – It’s been 72 hours since the worst shooting of 2019 took place in Virginia Beach.
Twelve people were killed when a public works employee opened fire at a municipal building. Those killed include the gunman’s former boss, longtime city employees, and a contractor. This weekend we learned that a woman with ties to Bakersfield is among the 12 dead.
The family confirmed 42-year-old Katherine Nixon was killed in Friday’s deadly shooting. They say Nixon grew up in Bakersfield and graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1994.
The deadliest shooting of the year unraveled Friday afternoon. It was just after 4 p.m. when 40-year-old Dewayne Craddock walked into a Virginia Beach municipal building.
He shot one person right outside the building then moved inside, shooting employees as he went floor to floor.
One of those victims: Bakersfield native Katherine Nixon.
“Kate was a wonderful Christian woman, wonderful mom, wonderful wife, and dedicated engineer,” said Claudia Blodget, Nixon’s grandma.
Nixon’s grandmother Blodget, told 17 news Nixon leaves behind her husband Jason and three daughters ages 7, 11 and a 15-month-old baby.
“She was a shining star, the room she was in will never be the same,” said Blodget.
Nixon was an engineer within the Virginia Beach Public Utilities Department for 10 years.
Blodget said Nixon comes from a long line of engineers, including her grandfather and father.
“It is the core of the Nixon family.”
Nixon was born and raised in Kern County. She graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1994.
In a tweet, on Saturday, BHS offered condolences to the family, saying in a statement:
“The driller family is saddened to learn of the loss of one of our own. may she rest peacefully and her family finds comfort in this time of sorrow.”
Nixon’s grandmother says her granddaughter died doing what she loved.
Authorities continue to search for a motive. According to police, those who knew the shooter say they didn’t see it coming. Investigators say Craddock had submitted his two weeks notice of resignation the morning before the shooting. In it, he explained he was leaving due to personal reasons.
A funeral mass is scheduled for Nixon on Thursday, June 6 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor.