Clovis woman home safe after Washington Navy Yard shooting

September 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Victor and Mary Jo Barbato are breathing a lot easier after receiving a phone call from their 24-year-old daughter Monday night.

Their daughter, Emily Roch, is a civilian contractor that works at the Washington Navy Yard where a gunman opened fire killing 12 people. The Barbatos received a phone call from their saughter around 5 p.m. Monday.

"She's home safe," Mary Jo Barbato said. "I'm not sure we feel better yet, we feel different. But as she got home, then we started digging into the reports and maps to see how close she really was."

Their daughter was two buildings away from building 197, where a gunman went on a rampage. Authorities put her office on lockdown for several hours.

"They all immediately became a group and were talking together and supporting each other," her mother said. "They were sharing snacks, sharing their lunches with people who didn't bring in any. At one point they were offered emergency water bottles and MREs."

When Authorities lifted the lockdown, they questioned employees before they were allowed to leave. Emily told her parents that they were told to leave their cars, so she had to take the METRO home.

"She kept telling me it was for traffic control, they were trying to avoid a mass traffic jam with all those people leaving at the same time," she said.

The Barbatos say their daughter is home and didn't seem emotionally or mentally bothered by the day.

"She's usually pretty tough," Victor Barbatos said, "when she breaks down it's usually when she reaches her end. I'm sure it will happen sometime tonight, and she has to still be processing at this point."

Essential personnel are to report back to work Tuesday. Emily is not sure when she will report back to work.

"She assumes that the 197 building will be closed for investigation," Mary Jo Barbato said. "But she hasn't heard anything yet. She thinks they'll probably have the option to go in."

The Barbatos say their hearts go out to the victims' families.

"We were fortunate," her father said, "but there were some less fortunate people out there tonight."


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