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By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Alumnus, GW parent died at Navy Yard shootings

Babak Sarani, who leads the hospital’s trauma department, said he tried to treat Vishnu Pandit, but it was too late. Pandit died of a gunshot wound to his left temple. Delaney AnWalsh | Photo Editor

An alumnus and a parent of two GW graduates both died Monday during the mass shooting at D.C.’s Navy Yard.

Gerald Read, who earned his master’s degree in sociology from GW in 1990, worked with the Naval Sea Systems Command’s information systems, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Read, who lived in Alexandria, Va. with his wife, Cathy, of 35 years, had retired from the army and was working as a civil contractor, the Washington Post reported.

He served in the army until 2006 and worked his way up to a lieutenant colonel, with a stint in the Republic of Korea. He also helped oversee the military’s supply chain in Iraq and Afghanistan from the Virginia base, Fort Belvoir.

Neighbors told The Post that Read and his wife could often be seen walking labrador receivers they’d adopted for more than a decade.

Vishnu Pandit, a navy engineer for more than 25 years, was the father of two GW alumni.

Pandit, 61, was brought to GW Hospital Monday morning, where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the left temple.

Pandit was the only critically wounded patient sent to GW Hospital. Four others walked into the emergency room on Monday related to the shooting with minor injuries, hospital spokesman Stephen Taubenkibel said.

His two sons, Siddhesh and Kapil, graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Business, respectively.

Pandit is also survived by his wife Anjali and a granddaughter.

During his life, he had “lived the American dream,” longtime friend M. Nuns Jain told The Huffington Post. In his early 20s, Pandit left India for the U.S. and earned a master’s in naval architecture from the University of Michigan.

“He persuaded me to come to the States,” Jain told The Huffington Post. “He was a pioneer. I followed him.”

Better known as Kisan, the Hindi word for “peasant,” Pandit worked for the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard. His son described Pandit as “a kind gentle man who loved his family, friends, dog, and job” in an email to the media.

Twelve people, plus the shooter, were killed Monday, and seven were wounded.

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