For the past 5 weeks, Sharon Blair has wondered about her youngest son’s final moments. Amidst the pride for what 24-year-old Master at Arms Second Class Mark Mayo did that night are questions of why and how could this happen.
“It could have been avoided,” Blair says. “I`m appalled. I`m hurt, but I’m proud of my son.”
Before Thursday Blair didn’t know that the man who murdered her son was allowed access to Naval Station Norfolk without showing any ID.
“Unbelievable,” she says. “And I pray that all those who are responsible are held accountable. Now if it`s going to bring embarrassment and shame to the Navy, well. That guy should have never gotten on that base and never gotten that far.”
Blair says all the Navy told her was that 35-year-old Jeffrey Savage was given the OK to come on base.
“So if I drive up there and give him a wave and I get through two sections and then get out of my vehicle I think I’d be gunned down,” Blair exclaims.
It was an unthinkable chain of events that ended with Mayo’s last act of courage. Even after being shot by Savage and protecting a fellow sailor, Mayo was able to shoot back.
Blair says she had no idea.
“I am so blessed to know that he was strong even to the end,” she says. “He was strong. Mark went down with a fight. He fought.”
Mayo’s quick, selfless thinking was nothing short of heroic. However, at the same time, Blair says her son should never have been in that position.
“At the end of the day, it was senseless,” she says. “My child should have still been here with me.”
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