Quantcast

Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Navy: Base shooting suspect disarmed sailor on watch

By Brock Vergakis

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:44 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2014


NORFOLK, Va. >> A civilian boarded a Navy destroyer at the world's largest naval base late at night, took a weapon from a sailor who was standing watch and used it to shoot and kill another sailor who was trying to help his embattled colleague, Navy officials said Tuesday.

Navy security forces then killed the suspect, who was authorized to be on Naval Station Norfolk and did not bring his own weapon on base, according to Capt. Robert Clark, the base's commanding officer.

The identities of the civilian and the sailor who were killed have not been released.

"Information about our sailor will come at the appropriate time and today is not that day," said Clark, who asked for privacy for the sailor's family.

No other injuries were reported from the encounter, which occurred Monday about 11:20 p.m. on the USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer. It wasn't immediately clear why the civilian attempted to board the ship or if he ever had access to it previously.

Clark said the identification found with the civilian indicates it is unlikely he was a military dependent authorized to be on base for that reason. He said the civilian was found with a TWIC card. According to the Navy's Military Sealift Command, a TWIC card is a transportation worker's credential card and is necessary to apply for any jobs with the command.

Military Sealift Command hires civilian mariners to crew its ships, including the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which uses the same pier as the Mahan. Clark said it was unclear what exactly the civilian's job was or when he worked on the base.

The base was briefly on lockdown following the shooting, but traffic was back to normal early Tuesday morning.

The Navy will release both men's names after their families are notified, said Naval Station Norfolk spokeswoman Terri Davis.

Aside from the pier where the Mahan was docked, operations had returned to normal at the base, with counselors available, the Navy said in a statement.

But most enlisted sailors on the Mahan -- docked at the first of 13 main piers -- were not to report to duty Tuesday.

Some sailors gathered for a training session -- unrelated to the shooting -- and began with a moment of silence for their colleague. "We'll find out what happened, and we'll prevent that from occurring again," Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, based in Norfolk, told them.

The shooting on the Mahan comes about a month after the Navy held anti-terrorism and force protection exercises on bases around the U.S., including an active-shooter drill at the Norfolk station.

To get on the base, civilians must be escorted or have identification that allows them to be there. Authorized civilians can include Department of Defense employees, contractors and military family members.

Each base entrance is guarded, and motorists present IDs. Inspections are rare. All 13 piers have additional security forces. As part of ongoing security efforts, handheld ID scanners were implemented this year at Navy bases in the region, including the Norfolk station.

The shooting comes months after a September incident at the Washington Navy Yard, in which a gunman -- identified as a contractor and former Navy reservist -- killed 12 civilian workers before being shot to death.

The Norfolk base covers more than 6,000 acres and is the home port for 64 ships, according to information the Navy provided in February. About 46,000 military members and 21,000 civilian government employees and contractors are assigned to the base and its ships, according to the Navy figures.

The Mahan, commissioned in 1998, has a crew of nearly 300. In September, it returned to Norfolk after a deployment of more than eight months that included being positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a potential strike against Syria.

Clark became Naval Station Norfolk's commanding officer in February, after previously serving as the installation's executive officer since 2012.

____

Associated Press writer Bernard McGhee in Atlanta contributed to this report.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(2)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
joseph007 wrote:
Kind of scary that one unarmed person can theoretically take over a US Destroyer or kill the crew. Our security is very lax on military bases. If a war with Russia or China was to break out, I can think that saboteurs will take over or severely disrupt military base operations.
on March 25,2014 | 08:19AM
paradiddle wrote:
Too little information to make any conclusions. The fact that the civilian was killed/stopped by naval security, abeit after taking the weapon from one sailor, indicates he could not have nor did "take over" the ship. However, it is very concerning that this civilian was able to even get that close and most alarming that he was able to overpower the first armed sailor. In any event, condolences to the familly of the deceased sailor and glad that security was able to prevent any further damage. Let's keep our vigilance up America!
on March 25,2014 | 11:48AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout

Wassup Wit Dat!
Can You Spock ‘Em?

Warrior Beat
Meal plan

Volley Shots
Fey, Enriques on MJNT

Political Radar
Wilhelmina Rise, et al.

Court Sense
Cold War