HAGERSTOWN, MD -- The family of the sailor killed aboard the USS Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk says they're heartbroken.
Sitting on a couch at her home in Hagerstown, Maryland, Sharon Blair broke down in tears when as she talked about her youngest son, Mark Mayo, a security force officer on the destroyer.
"I want my baby, I want him home," Blair said.
The Navy says Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo died Monday night protecting his shipmates. Monday night, Mayo went to the aid of a fellow sailor. He was shot and killed protecting the petty officer of the watch who had been disarmed by the civilian gunman.
The Navy is calling Mayo a hero. Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. Robert Clark says Mayo's family endured a tragic loss.
"We share in that loss as we have lost a tremendous shipmate and friend," Clark said.
Blair says her son always wanted to be in law enforcement and as a child, he would play cops and robbers with his older siblings.
"He always wanted to protect people," Blair said. "Mark was goodhearted."
Timothy Borum doesn’t understand how his 24-year-old brother was killed on a military base, where he says service members should be safe and protected.
"I always felt he was safe on a military base, always felt he'd be protected. It ain't making no sense, none of it. I'm just trying to grasp what happened, how and why. There are still so many answered questions," Borum said.
The suspect, a trucker with base access, was killed by Mahan’s topside rover. His name hasn't been released and there was no information about a motive.