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Husband of Virginia Beach mass shooting victim reflects on another holiday without loved one

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 21:43:52-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - "That’s one of the first ones I bought her in California," Jason Nixon said as he pointed to an ornament on his Christmas tree.

The Nixon family's tree is filled with decades of memories.

"Every time we went somewhere, we would get an ornament. That was our thing," he said. "I'm trying to keep traditions alive. That's what Kate would want."

While Kate Nixon's presence is felt everywhere in the home and seen in their three girls' faces, the reality is — it's another holiday without her.

"It gets worse. One daughter was breaking down, crying a little bit; she misses her mom. Her mom should be here for Christmas and the holidays," Jason said.

In 2019, Kate, a veteran engineer, was gunned down alongside 11 of her coworkers inside Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Jason told us Kate wanted to bring a gun to work that day, fearful of trouble brewing, but decided against it.

"She would want me to keep fighting. She was a no-nonsense person. She did what was right; she was a person who wouldn’t deviate from anything hard," Jason said.

Month after month, Jason fights for closure, not satisfied with several official reports finding no motive in the shooting.

"I think the FBI got it with work grievances. They didn’t divulge, just scratched the surface," he said.

Recently he's been attending the State Commission meetings. Twenty-one members, appointed mostly by Gov. Ralph Northam, are tasked with finding gaps in the other reports released.

"They haven’t done the investigation part. They're just trying to figure out how to ask questions," he said.

Jason says it's been a slow process, and he's concerned that the commission has no subpoena power.

Last week, he was appointed to the 5-31 Memorial Committee. He told us he's thankful, as he has expressed his distaste with one not being built nearly three years later.

"The memorial should be based on what the families of the deceased would want. It should be a somber memorial," Jason said.

For now, Jason is taking it one step at a time, being a full-time father and fighting for justice while keeping Kate's memory alive.

There is no timetable on when the 5-31 memorial will be built. As far as the state commission, its report should be released in summer 2022.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.