Paying Tribute: Slain Security Guard At Washington Navy Yard Laid To Rest

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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SEVERN, Md. (WJZ) — A Carroll County man is laid to rest this weekend. He was one of 12 people shot and killed at the Washington Navy Yard last week.

Christie Ileto has more on the final goodbye from family and friends.

Mike Ridgell was protecting 2,000 workers at Washington’s Navy Yard when he was gunned down. Family and friends are now remembering a hero.

A hymn of bagpipes play while officers carry Richard Ridgell’s coffin out of the church in Severn Saturday. A husband, a father and friend to many, Ridgell–who went by Mike–was one of 12 gunned down at the Washington Navy Yard earlier this month.

“There is no sense or reason or why,” his daughter, Megan Ridgell, said.

The 52-year-old’s family spoke with WJZ days following the shooting. Officials say Ridgell died trying to keep Aaron Alexis from leaving the building and taking more lives.

Vice Admiral William Hilarides said at the service: “Mike made the ultimate sacrifice protecting all of us. For that sacrifice, we, his Navy family, honor him. And we will never forget him.”

“I know for a fact he would have done his best at least,” said Heather Hunt, daughter.

Before Ridgell worked at the Navy Yard, he spent 17 years as a Maryland State Trooper and served three years in Iraq as a contract security worker.

“He was proud of a lot in his life, but I think he’s told all three of us, his proudest thing was being a good dad. Being present and attentive and supportive,” said Megan Ridgell.

Those on the softball team he coached in Westminster plan to remember his positive outlook on life.

“We talked about the funniest things. He always made me smile and I loved being around him,” Amanda Whitcomb said.

And while the country lays to rest a fallen hero, his wife and three daughters say goodbye to a man who they simply called “dad.”

A memorial fund has been set up for Ridgell’s children through PNC Bank, Hampstead Md. 21074.

Another service was held for another victim of the Navy Yard shooting Saturday. Sylvia Fraser from Waldorf was 53.

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