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'I've Been Shot. Can You Call 911?' The Last Moments of Kate Nixon's Life and the Faith She Shared

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Twelve white roses grace the sanctuary at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, each one representing a victim of Friday's mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

One honors Kate Nixon, a woman who attended services there and whose sister-in-law Mandy describes as selfless.

"She's an amazing wife to my brother. I don't think anybody could ask for a better wife than Kate, or the kids a better mother than Kate," Mandy Nixon-Hammer told CBN News

"She's, she's amazing. She's just, it's a huge loss for our family," she continued.

Kate was only 42 and leaves behind her husband, Jason, and three young daughters.

"It's tough. Jason is struggling. He's fighting through," Mandy shared, overcome with emotion. 

She told us how, on Friday, Kate was able to contact Jason after being shot.

"She had called him, and she said, 'I've been shot. Can you call 911?'" Mandy explained. "And then my brother hung up, called 911; they tried to call her back."
Kate did not pick up. The previous conversation would be the last time Jason spoke to his wife.

According to Mandy, it does not appear Kate had any specific issues with the shooter, DeWayne Craddock.

"I think just with his job, projects and stuff that they had worked on and assisting him in those," she said. "But there wasn't anything that came back that he was gonna harm anyone or threaten anyone."

"There was no red flag," she continued.

"She was concerned about some of his behaviors from time to time, just some of the interactions," Justin Nixon, Kate's brother-in-law, told CBN News. "I think it was mostly his skill, related to the job."

"I don't think there was ever an exact, workplace violent type of thing that you could see on a day to day basis," he continued.

Kate had served as an engineer with Virginia Beach public utilities for 10 years. Away from work, she was a devoted churchgoer.

"So Pentecost Sunday is next Sunday, and I wanted to pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit, so I had published that," Deacon Darrell Wentworth of St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church told CBN News

"That Friday was the first day of that Novena. And about four o'clock, I get this little ding on my Facebook, and Kate had liked the post," he continued. 

"And then, 4:06, I understand, Kate called Jason that she had been shot," Deacon Darrell added.

Kate attended church there for more than a decade, and for three years, he says she was part of his Scripture study.

Deacon Darrell describes Kate as an enthusiastic, faithful attendee of his Tuesday night small group. He says she would sit in the front row and was really growing in her faith.

"Kate wanted to share faith with other people. She was filling her life with Scripture," he explained.

"If you look in the eyes of the children, you'll see her legacy," Justin shared. "If you look at her husband, her friends, you'll see her legacy."

"If you look at the work she put in and the involvement in the church, you'll see her legacy," he continued. "She touched people in a very special way."

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About The Author


Mark Martin currently serves as a reporter and anchor at CBN News, reporting on all kinds of issues, from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East. He traveled to Bahrain and covered stories on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mark also anchors CBN News Midday on the CBN Newschannel and fills in on the anchor desk for CBN News' Newswatch and The 700 Club. Prior to CBN News, Mark worked at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There he served as a weekend morning producer, before being promoted to general