On June 1, Jason Nixon had to tell this to his three young children: “Yesterday, mommy was very hurt by an evil man, and mommy isn’t coming home.”
That’s how Jason broke the tragedy to the couple’s daughters, their mother whom he married while they were in college was dead.
Jason would get a call from Kate on May 31. “It was 4:06 p.m., and she called me ‘Jason, I’ve been shot. Call 911.’ She didn’t seem distressed like she had it in control.”
But the shooter had other plans, coming back and shooting Kate again and killing her.
“I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t. Just that phone call. ‘Jason call 911, I’ve been shot.’ I can’t sleep, I throw up in the morning. I can’t get it out of my head.”
Jason races to Building Two. He is told nothing by police, but he is texting her again and again.
“‘Call me back. Text me something. Let me know what’s going on. Please. I love you.’ That was my last text.”
Jason couldn’t locate Kate’s body, and says the way he was told she was dead was matter of fact and blunt.
“The officer came in and asked are you next of kin to Katherine Nixon? I said yes and he said ‘well, she’s dead.’ I don’t know anything else, and then he walked out … it was rather hard and abrupt.”
Jason wouldn’t be able to locate Kate’s body for 24 hours, when a friend in the Medical Examiner’s office finally called him. “She told me ‘Jason I have Katie and I’m taking care of her, praying over her body. I have Katie,’ and it brought relief to me to know where my wife was at.”
Jason says Kate spoke about the shooter just the night before. “She had some correspondence with him. She thought he was a poor engineer, very chauvinistic, an all around not nice guy. He gave her bad vibes.” Jason says he told her, “Take my gun. Put it in your purse, and go to work. If nothing happens, nothing happens, but at least I know you are safe.”
Jason also told us about a vision Kate had the night before the shooting. She told me, “I got this eerie feeling. We are letting this guy go, and we had to tell him he was going to be police escorted out. I asked her what’s wrong, and she told me ‘he made comments. I think he may want to shoot the place up.”
Ironically it wouldn’t be that guy she had to worry about, it would be the other guy in the office.
For all these reasons, Jason supports an independent and open investigation into what happened before the shooting, during the shooting, and how communication was handled after the shooting. “This isn’t about guns. It is about mental health. This is about being trained properly, and to see the red flags.”
The city’s narrative is the shooter had not been fired, was not in the process of being fired, had a satisfactory job performance. We asked Jason if he accepts the city’s narrative.
“No I do not … I spoke with my wife in confidentiality. I know about the guy and a lot of things about him, and that is why an open investigation has to happen.”
In the open investigation, Jason’s first question to be answered: ” What was Human Resources doing during disciplinary actions, during your sit down meetings, your write-ups.”
Jason would want analysis on the city’s response to the tragedy, “and I would want to know the communication process to notify families, and would want gentler bedside manners in the flow of information.”
Jason says it’s not just about Kate and Jason, it’s about all the families. “My wife is a fighter. She fought to the end and now it is my turn to fight for her. I will fight for her, and maybe the other families who lost their lives will talk to you and talk about the conversations they had with their loved ones about the shooter, and I think that would open everything up a lot.”
So that no more families would have to do what Jason had to do for his three young daughters on June 1: “I had to tell them, yesterday a very evil man hurt mommy, and she won’t be coming home. It broke my heart and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Jason added.