Rochester native among those who died in Navy Yard shooting - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rochester native among those who died in Navy Yard shooting

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Michael Arnold Michael Arnold
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  • Rochester native among those who died in Navy Yard shooting

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    Tuesday, September 17 2013 1:19 PM EDT2013-09-17 17:19:52 GMT
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WASHINGTON (AP) -

A dozen people died in a shooting rampage Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, including a Rochester, Mich. native.

It was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since November 2009, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas. Early Tuesday, the stories of some of those who died started to surface.

Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home, said his uncle, Steve Hunter.

"It would have been the first plane he ever owned," Hunter said in a telephone interview from Rochester, Mich., Arnold's hometown. "It's partially assembled in his basement."

Arnold graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and served in the Navy for 29 years, before retiring as a captain last October, according to an article in the Navy Supply Corps Newsletter. Arnold, who had two master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, then went to work for LMI, a consulting firm based in McLean, Va.

Hunter said his nephew worked at the Navy Yard on a team that designed vessels such as the USS Makin Island, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship used by the Marine Corps. Jeff Bennett, a vice president at LMI, told The Washington Post that Arnold "was just a solid, solid citizen ... great American."

Arnold and his wife, Jolanda, had been married for more than 30 years, Hunter said. They had two grown sons, Eric and Christopher.

Hunter said Arnold returned to Michigan for Labor Day to visit his 80-year-old mother, Patricia.

"He was a loving son of his mother and his wife, and great father to his kids," said Hunter. "It's tragic. How can you get up in the morning and go to work and have that happen? How do bad things like that happen to good people?"

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