US Sailor Kills 2 and Injures 1 Before Killing Himself in Shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
December 5, 2019
The U.S. Navy sailor who opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on Wednesday ― killing two civilian workers and injuring another before killing himself ― used his service weapons, sources confirm to Hawaii News Now.
Sources said US sailor, 22-year-old Gabriel Romero, was armed because he was assigned to stand watch on a submarine undergoing maintenance at the shipyard.
The two victims who died, both men, were initially taken to hospitals in extremely critical condition. A third gunshot victim, a 36-year-old man, is in stable condition at the Queen’s Medical Center.
The identifies of the victims have not yet been released.
The shooting at Drydock 2 threw a tight-knit community into mourning, and brought operations at the shipyard to a virutal standstill. Non-essential shipyard employees were told to stay home from work until Friday.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone involved,” said Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii. “This is certainly a tragedy for everyone here.”
He said it wasn’t immediately clear whether Romero knew the victims ― all shipyard employees ― or if the three were targeted at random.
He also didn’t have details about the gunman’s possible motive.
In a message sent to shipyard employees, Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Burton expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.
“I know that no words will convey the full measure of sorrow from today’s tragedy," he said.
Family members and shipyard employees impacted by the tragedy are being offered counseling and crisis services. “Looking ahead, we will honor the life and legacy of those lost," Burton said.
“Even now, as we mourn the loss of members of our ‘ohana, please take the opportunity to reconnect with each other and to reinforce and strengthen the bonds with each other.”
The shooting comes just days before thousands descend on Pearl Harbor to mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese bombing that propelled the United States into World War II.
First responders were called to the base about 2:30 p.m.
In the minutes after the shooting, base personnel were urged over a PA system and with text messages to shelter in place.
A lockdown that was put in place after the shooting was lifted about 4 p.m.
Officials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam report the shooting incident at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard has been secured. One person is confirmed dead. The shooter has been identified as a U.S. Sailor. #PearlHarbor— Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (@JointBasePHH) December 5, 2019
Chadwick confirmed that officials have launched a full investigation and at least 100 witnesses were being interviewed.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service — or NCIS — has taken the lead. However, Honolulu police detectives and the city Medical Examiner’s Office also responded.
On Thursday morning, the White House said President Donald Trump was keeping a close eye on the situation. However, he has not yet publicly commented.
Gov. David Ige said the White House has offered assistance in the wake of the shooting.
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