Santiago unharmed in incident

WASHINGTON – Terri Santiago of Parkersburg thought she would pass out when she received the news Monday morning at Stout Memorial United Methodist Church.

A person told Santiago there had been a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

Santiago’s son, Marine Sgt. Chris Santiago, a 2002 graduate of Parkersburg High School, works at the Washington Navy Yard in the nation’s capital.

“I was frantic. I needed water,” Terri Santiago said after receiving the news.

Terri soon learned that her son was OK.

Chris texted his mother at around 9:15 a.m., about an hour after the shooting began.

“He said he was OK and (his work area) was in lockdown,” Terri said.

Chris’ wife, Becky, also sent Terri a text message stating Chris was not injured.

Chris called Terri Monday afternoon to say he was all right and was being evacuated from his building at the Navy Yard.

Chris works in the finance building next to the building where the shootings occurred, Terri said.

Chris told his mother he did not initially know what was happening Monday morning. His building did not have a television, she said.

Chris did mention seeing the helicopters and S.W.A.T. teams in the area.

Chris was on his way home to Queen Anne, Md., around 6:30 p.m., Terri said.

Terri said she had a “weird feeling” Monday morning – on the seventh anniversary of Chris being injured while serving overseas – before she learned of the attack at the Washington Navy Yard.

On Sept. 16, 2006, Chris was severely injured when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq. Chris lost his legs at the knees and suffered major injuries to his left arm in the explosion.

Chris has fought back after many surgeries and a long rehabilitation in military hospitals. He walks with prosthetic legs and uses a wheelchair at home.

In August, Chris and Becky Santiago received the keys to their new home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that was built through Homes for Our Troops.

The house was constructed with features that allow Chris to move around easily inside.