A Bakersfield woman who was among those killed in the Virginia Beach mass shooting was remembered by family members and co-workers as a shining light who guided others in the right direction.
Katherine Nixon, a 42-year-old mother of three, was one of 12 victims shot and killed Friday when a gunman opened fire in a municipal building in Virginia Beach. The 1994 Bakersfield High School graduate was an engineer with the city’s department of public works.
Co-workers remembered her as a brilliant engineer and caring person. Family members called her a ray of sunshine.
“Kate was a wonderful Christian woman,” said grandmother Claudia Blodget. “Dedicated engineer, just one of those people that’s just sunshine and light. She was a shining star.”
Friend Shelby O’Regan Acevedo, of Virginia Beach, remembered Nixon as selfless, smart and a loving mother. She liked to swim and shared that joy with others.
“Her favorite time of year is right now, because she loves doing swim team with her daughter,” Acevedo told The Virginian-Pilot. “She was my son’s very first soccer coach, and she had a way with all the kids. She helped him love the game at 4 years old.”
Nixon had worked with the city for 10 years. Survived by her husband Jason and their three children, she was one of 11 slain city employees who had served the community for more than 150 years. The 12th victim was a contractor who was at the municipal building for a permit.
On Monday, a memorial of bouquets, flags, teddy bears and crosses bearing the names of the shooting’s victims were on display outside the building. Employees embraced and cried. Comfort dogs were available.