The Navy today confirmed that the officer who died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday at the Kahala Hotel & Resort was a lieutenant commander assigned to the Naval Submarine Support Center at Pearl Harbor.
Russell Cruz, 40, of New York, had been previously identified by the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office as the individual involved in the barricade situation in which several shots were reportedly fired through a hotel room door.
The Naval Submarine Support Center provides operational support for Pearl Harbor homeported submarines, their crews, families, and the staffs of Submarine Squadrons One and Seven, the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force said.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a shipmate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the sailors’ family, friends and shipmates,” the command said in a statement.
Cruz was a submarine warfare-qualified supply officer, the Navy said. He enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 7, 2001, and was commissioned as an officer on Feb. 18, 2011, according to biographical information. He became a lieutenant commander in September. He was assigned to the fast attack submarine USS Louisville from 2011 to 2014.
“Every member of our Navy team is important; this is a painful time for our local community and the U.S. Navy. Resources available to support sailors and families include chaplain, Fleet and Family Service Center counselors, the command ombudsmen, and mental health care teams,” Pacific Fleet submarine force said.
The incident began before 6 p.m. Saturday when the man later identified as Cruz barricaded himself in a room at the hotel and communicated with family that he was suicidal, according to the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Investigative Division.
Dozens of law enforcement officers, including HPD’s Specialized Services Division, negotiators and military representatives responded.
During the incident, the man allegedly fired shots into the door of his fourth-floor room at the luxury resort.
No one was injured, but the hotel was put on lockdown, with more than 100 guests kept in a secure location. After more than seven hours, guests and staff were finally released.
The barricade situation ended around 3 a.m. Sunday when police made their entry into the room and found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Star-Advertiser reporter Allison Schaefers contributed to this report.