LITTLE ROCK, Miss. (BP)–Mickey Fitzgerald, one of six Lockheed Martin employees killed in a shooting rampage at the Meridian, Miss., plant July 8, was remembered as a loving father and husband and as a man of God July 11 at Hopewell Baptist Church in Little Rock, Miss.
“Mickey Fitzgerald was a man among men,” said Jimmy McDill, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, where Fitzgerald was a deacon. He also described Fitzgerald as a man of character and conscience.
McDill, while speaking at the funeral, said Fitzgerald may have played a role in trying to stop the shooter, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson reported.
“Some say Mickey Fitzgerald tried to stand in the way,” McDill said. “That’s the man Mickey was — a man of peace… For that peace, he shed his blood.”
Fitzgerald had worked at the plant 23 years. He leaves behind his wife, Tammie, and two children.
“Mickey was just a down-to-earth kind [of person],” McDill told Baptist Press after the shooting. “… He reflected the life of Christ…. He’s the kind [of person] that when something like this happens, it takes the wind out of your sails. He was that kind of an individual.”
More than 300 people attended the funeral, after which the processional moved to a cemetery beside the church for a short graveside prayer. McDill said although it was evident the family was dealing with a great deal of grief, they are being supported by the Hopewell church family. Just as Fitzgerald touched lives through his church, the pastor said, the church now is reaching out to his family in love.
Fitzgerald was killed when a gunman entered the aircraft parts plant and began firing. The gunman, Doug Williams, a worker at the plant, shot several people in an annex building before entering the main building and shooting several people there before taking his life. Fitzgerald and four others were killed.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: COPING WITH TRAGEDY, MOURNING A CHURCH MEMBER, GRAVESIDE PRAYER and SITE OF SHOOTING.