Sailor kills 2 civilians then himself at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 7:20 PM CST
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A sailor fatally shot two civilian employees and wounded a third at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard before turning the gun on himself.

In a statement, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam spokesman said the situation at Drydock 2 remains under investigation, and the names of the victims won’t be released until next of kin are notified.

The third victim, in guarded condition, went to the Queen’s Medical Center.

The shooting at Drydock 2 threw a tight-knit community into mourning.

“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 the gunman, a sailor assigned to the USS Columbia, knew the victims ― all shipyard employees ― or if the three were targeted at random.

He also didn’t have details about what type of gun was used or a possible motive.

First responders were called to the base about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday (5:30 in Wisconsin).

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.

Authorities said at least 100 witnesses were being interviewed about the incident.

While the Navy is taking the lead in the investigation, Honolulu police detectives and the city Medical Examiner’s Office have also responded.

Gov. David Ige said the White House has offered assistance in the wake of the shooting.

“I join in solidarity with the people of Hawaii as we express our heartbreak over this tragedy and concern for those affected by the shooting,” Ige said, in a statement.

The shooting broke the calm of what was an otherwise uneventful day, witnesses said.

One witness said he was at his desk when he heard loud pops.

“I kind of recognize that as gunshots,” the witness said. “I looked out the window, saw three people on the ground. I looked out in time to see the shooter ... shoot himself.”

Alex Ojeda and Will Churchhill reported to their first day at work on base Wednesday when the active shooter situation started.

“We were actually on our way out,” Ojeda said. “We didn’t expect that at all.”

One member of the military said he was getting a haircut when his cell phone blew up with text messages. “We got a bunch of texts from on the ship and on the barge letting us know there’s an active shooter alert,” the service member said.

The city Medical Examiner’s Office said it is “working in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, which has the lead on the investigation."

The shipyard repairs, maintains and modernizes the ships and submarines of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered at Pearl Harbor. The base is the home port for 10 destroyers and 15 submarines.

It's across the harbor from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which on Saturday will mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack that propelled the U.S. into World War II. More than 2,300 Americans died in the attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Pearl Harbor

#BREAKING: Multiple gunshot victims reported in active shooter situation at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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