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Family And Friends Remember Sailor Killed In Norfolk Shooting

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Mourners pause for a moment of prayer at Thursday night's candlelight memorial service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo.
WAMU/Lauren Landau
Mourners pause for a moment of prayer at Thursday night's candlelight memorial service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo.

A sailor who was fatally shot last week in Norfolk, Va., is being honored as a hometown hero in Hagerstown. About 80 people gathered in the City Park last night for a candlelight memorial service.

When a civilian gunman attempted to board a ship at the world's largest naval base, Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo jumped in between the intruder and another sailor, saving her life, but sacrificing his own.

Family and friends gathered in Hagerstown City Park to pay tribute to the 24-year-old's memory. His mother, Sharon Mayo, spoke of her son's sense of kindness, drive and honor. She urged attendees to use his life as an example.

"Be better people, because your life is not guaranteed. My son was supposed to bury me... but it's the opposite way around," she said.

Dante Benford grew up with Mayo and says he was one of the best men he's ever known.

"There's a lot of us who went out and steered away from the correct path in our life and Mark was just always, always the best person that he could be. And you know, it's just so sad that somebody who always lived a life on the straight and narrow had something this tragic to actually happen to him," he said.

Lakeisha Mayo says she's proud of her little brother, but it's been an emotional week. "To be honest, I am angry, and sometimes I'm sad. And sometimes I can't accept it," she said.

Mayo said she hopes measures will be taken to prevent something like this from happening to another family.

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