Richard “Mike” Ridgell, 52, has been confirmed as one of the victims killed during the horrific Washington Navy Yard shooting on September 16.
He was a devoted family man from Westminister, Maryland, reports The Carroll County Times.
Here’s what you should know about this fallen hero…
1. He Was a Former State Trooper
Ridgell was a security officer at the Washington Navy Yard, reports The Washington Post. He had attained the rank of corporal in the Maryland State Police when he retired from the force in August 2000.
He was a graduate of Brooklyn Park High School in Maryland.
2. He Worked For a Private Military Contractor
Ridgell was an employee of Dyn Corp International, a military contractor that served the Washington Navy Yard. Dyn Corp on its website describes itself as:
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world.
We provide expertly conceived and professionally executed services to meet the complex demands of today’s world. We have broad international expertise and over 60 years of experience working in remote, dangerous and austere environments.
We integrate our many competencies to provide solutions that fit each customer and situation, and bring a culture of compliance, accountability, and relentless performance to each program and task.
3. He Was a Local Softball Coach
Ridgell was a coach with the Westminster Jaycees Girls Softball team. His youngest daughter, Maddi, is still on the team and his older daughter, Megan, played on the team at one point. His co-coach on the team, Tom Whitcomb, told The Carroll County Times about his experiences with Ridgell:
Mike was the kind of guy that you would want your daughter to be coached by,” he said. “He was always positive. He was always encouraging. You couldn’t have asked for a better friend.
4. He Was a Loving Family Man
Ridgell told a friend in a Facebook post in July 2012 that he only joined the social network to “keep up with [his] daughters.” The outpouring of emotion on his daughter’s Facebook pages is heartbreaking. His cousin posted on his Facebook timeline:
We sure will miss you cousin Michael! Can’t believe you were one of the 12 taken from us yesterday, kind of feels like a dream that we are all waiting to wake up from. But we all know you are in a better place and watching over each of your family members.
Your laugh, smile & all the memories will help us get through this terrible time. Till we meet again … love and hugs to you.
5. He Was a Passionate Football Fan
Unlike many of his co-workers who appeared to be fans of the Washington Redskins, Ridgell drifted toward the current Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens. He also was a member of the Facebook group “Football is Life.”