Cocke County officer shares sister's close call in Navy Yard shooting

By: Lorena Estrada
By: Lorena Estrada

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- If you ask Capt. Derek Woods, he'll tell you his baby sister is never late to work. But on Monday morning the Washington Navy Yard employee showed up a few minutes later than usual.

"She's normally there and she wasn't," Woods said.

And that's what may have saved her.

"When my sister arrived at the gate to go into her building, the shooting was talking place inside the building. No one had been alerted on the outside yet," Woods said. "She received a notification not to go into the building. That's when she called me."

Woods told his sister to turn around and leave immediately, and she did. She left just in time to miss shooter Aaron Alexis in the midst of his rampage.

But some of her coworkers weren't able to escape.

Vishnu Pandit, who worked with his sister on the 4th floor, was among the 12 people killed in the shooting.

"She said he was real nice. She always talked to him," Woods said.

While he hurts for the families who will never see their loved ones again, he's thankful his sister is alive.

"It would be earth shattering to be in the situation that some of the other families are in," he said.

Woods asked Local 8 News not to release the identity of his sister at this time. He said all employees were advised not to talk to the media about the incident during the investigation.

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