Among the 12 people killed by a Navy Yard gunman in September was a woman who once lived in Tampa. Now her family is suing.
Mary Frances Knight still has family here in Tampa. Today, they filed a $37.5-million lawsuit against the federal government, saying the Navy did not do enough to prevent the shooting.
The lawsuit contends that the warning signs were there -- that the accused shooter, Aaron Alexis, was delusional and unstable, but the government ignored repeated warning signs.
"He was picked up by the Newark, Rhode Island police. They saw that he was delusional and crazy and hearing voices. And so they faxed to the Navy this report of a delusional crazy man. And what did the Navy do? Well, they took a look at it and decided he was not dangerous. Without any investigation, without talking to anybody, they just blew it off. That's negligence," attorney Sidney Matthew stated.
Patricia Delorenzo did not go into detail about the work her sister did at the Navy Yard in Washington, but she insisted that Mary's death should not be in vain.
"My sister is the smartest, brightest person I know. Just a genius, really. She was always 10 steps ahead of everybody else. Thoughtful, caring. She was really the matriarch of our family," Delorenzo said, holding back tears.
Delorenzo says Mary had written a will and a letter to her family back in 2007 explaining that, if anything ever happened to her, she wanted her children to be taken care of. Patricia is now caring for the kids, and says the government should pitch in.