Washington Navy Yard victim had local ties

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Sep 18, 2013 - 12:46 PM

Photo: Richard Michael “Mike” Ridgell of Westminster, Md., one of 12 victims of Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, has a number of local connections, including his cousin, Debbie Lowe of Mathews. Facebook photo

Richard Michael “Mike” Ridgell of Westminster, Md., one of 12 victims of Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, has a number of local connections, including his cousin, Debbie Lowe of Mathews. Facebook photo

One of the dozen victims of Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard had close connections to Mathews County.

Richard Michael "Mike" Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Md., was a cousin to Calvin Wilson and his daughter, Debbie Lowe, as well as to Gloria Godsey and her sons, Kevin and Jamie Godsey, all of Mathews.

Ridgell’s significant other, Leslie Kirby, is also a Mathews resident. The two had been dating ever since they were introduced to each other by Lowe about a year ago. Kirby said they spoke for the last time at about 8:45 a.m. Monday while the shooting was in progress. Ridgell told her that he was fine.

Ridgell was working in security at the Navy Yard when he was killed, said Lowe. She said he was an employee of the Maryland State Police who previously served three years as a civilian contractor in Iraq. He was also a "diehard Ravens fan."

"It’s like I’ve lost my right arm," said Lowe. "He was like a brother. Everybody just adored him. He was always happy and jolly. We’ve lost a large part of our family."