Family of slain sailor says he died a hero

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — One of the three people shot and killed at NAS Pensacola Friday morning was a track and field star from St. Petersburg, Florida.

His mother told WTSP he died a hero and is sharing memories of her son.

19-year-old Mohammed Haitham was known by his friends and family as ‘Mo,’ he had just graduated high school in 2018, and had been assigned to flight crew training in Pensacola after graduating boot camp.

“He’s just a wonderful young man,” said Evelyn Brady, Mohammed’s mother.

Haitham had followed in his mother’s footsteps, joining the U.S. Navy soon after he graduated high school.

As she saw the news alerts about the shooting, she eagerly awaited a personal one, a text from her son.

“I was at work, I was getting text messages, did I hear from Mohammed, I didn’t know what was going on,” Brady said.

Brady was waiting to hear from her son all day.

“I think it was about 8-8:30. My son knocked on the door and said mom come on out here. When I came out of my room and I looked at the door, all I saw was the white uniform, and I just lost it. I knew my baby was gone,” she said.

His family says he died a hero.

“He tried to stop the shooter, I mean he’s a hero. He’s a protector,” said another family member.

Brady, forever changed after Friday’s shooting, wishing she could hold her son one last time.

“I love you. I love you. I am so very proud of everything you have accomplished. And I miss you. I will miss you dearly,” she said.

The St. Petersburg mayor tweeted that he hoped the family finds peace ‘knowing that Mo made the community a better place.’

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