VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - On Friday, May 31, Jason Nixon lost of the love of his life, 42-year-old Katherine Nixon, in Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
While he has spent the the last few weeks grieving and trying to explain to his three daughters they will never see their mother again, he is also working to make sure her death and the deaths of 11 others is not a flash in the pan.
Their Love Affair
They met in Florida and fell in love in just 48 hours.
"We hit it off. We met at a bar; she wasn't supposed to be there because she wasn't 21," said Jason. "The next day, I called my mom and told her to fly down because I said, 'This is the one I'll marry' - and lo and behold, I did."
Their marriage on July 21, 1999, on Catalina Island was small and picture-perfect. The sounds of Jimmy Buffett, Jason's only request, echoed in the background.
Nearly 20 years later, Kate and Jason would become the proud parents to three beautiful daughters, ages 13, 6 and 1.
"On July 21 would be 20 years. It will be the hardest anniversary I'll ever go through," said Jason, fighting through tears at his dining room table.
The Nixons' world is now shattered into a million pieces.
"I can't get it out of my head; I just can't the phone call where she said she was shot. I don't sleep at night, and I throw up in the mornings," he said.
Kate, a veteran engineer for the City of Virginia Beach, was first shot in the shoulder in Building 2. At 4:06 p.m. that Friday, she called and implored her husband to call 911 while she worked to help others.
"She didn't seem distressed. She seemed in control," he said.
That was typical Kate - a logical thinker, calm and collected. He then fired off a slew of texts, hoping she would be on the other end.
"I said, 'I love you... what's going on? Please call me. Are you okay?'" he read from his phone.
"Please Kate, I love you," was his final text to her. That was at 4:27 p.m.
At 11 p.m. that night, he would find out Kate was dead.
"I had to sit the girls on the couch and say, 'Mommy was hurt by a very evil man,' and I said, 'Mommy won't be coming home anymore.' That broke my heart. It was the hardest thing I'd ever do," he said.
He's now a widower and a father left without his other half.
"Father's Day is coming up, and my daughters want to buy me presents for Father's Day and Kate would normally do that," he said as he cried.
His Ask for Transparency
A silver watch and a pair of eye glasses is all he has.
"This watch was covered in blood it was ruined all most," said Jason.
Nixon still hasn't received any of Kate's personal items from Building 2.
"I want her journals, her phone, her clothes - they are my wife's, and I want them," he begged.
The night before Kate was murdered on May 30, she sat Jason down at the table and told him she wanted to take a gun to work because a disgruntled co-worker was being fired and was threatening.
"She said, 'Jason, I have an eerie feeling. We are letting this guy go, and he is supposed to be police escorted out," Jason recalled.
"He has made comments he wants to shoot up the place, and I said, 'Well, you can take my gun and put it in your purse, and if nothing happens at least you will be a safe," he said.
That coworker didn't end up being the shooter that took the lives of Kate and 11 others, but Kate's intuition of a fateful Friday rang true.
"I wish she had taken it. Maybe the outcome would be different... I don't know," he said.
Now Jason is turning his grief into go-getting. He has hired attorney Kevin Martingayle to call for an open investigation and release personnel records and documents related to the shooter.
"We want two things: The city can release all of the shooter's employee, personnel, complaints, behavioral issues and other records that may indicate there is some concern about the shooter," said Martingayle. "The second thing the city could do is request that the Attorney General's office or an outside law firm undertake an investigation, prepare a report and release the report in its entirety to describe all relevant events that preceded the shooting, during and after the shooting."
Jason told News 3 Kate had a lot of correspondence with the suspect.
"She thought he was a poor engineer and not a nice guy, she had a lot of bad vibes about him for a while," he explained.
Jason says there are more than 18 months' worth of emails that could signal trouble behind the walls of Building 2, and he says there is no better time then the present to be transparent.
"This is about mental health and people being trained properly, and there are red flags there," he said.
Red flags that may reveal why a man open fire, taking Kate and the lives of 11 other innocent people.
"I love my wife. My wife was a fighter. She fought to the end, and it's my turn to fight for her now," he said. "This can't just be a flash in the pan and we move on to the next story and forget Kate."