A sailor at the Norfolk Navy Base in Virginia was fatally shot by a civilian permitted on base early late last night. The sailor was aboard the USS Mahan that was stationed at largest naval base in the world. US Navy security officers responded to the shooting and pronounced both the unnamed male civilian and the male sailor dead at the scene. Security officers reportedly shot the civilian suspect who was aboard the guided missile destroyer.
Information about the civilian shooter and his pass to enter the Norfolk Naval Base has not yet been released. It is also not know how the shooter was able to get a weapon onto the base. To gain entry to the Virginia base, civilians reportedly must be either escorted or possess a pass ascertained only after a background check.
The Norfolk Naval Base was put on lockdown briefly after the shooting on the USS Mahan. An investigation into the shooting of the sailor is ongoing. Pier 1, where the guided missile destroyer was docked remains blocked off, but normal operations have resumed on the remainder of the base. Navy Fleet and Family Service Center counselors have been dispatched to the base to aid personnel in dealing with the shooting.
The Naval Station at Norfolk will release the names of the sailor and the shooter only once their families have been notified. Navy base representative Terri David has not released particulars about the shooting, but did note that the scene has and will remain secured throughout the investigation. All of the entrances on the base are guarded and all 13 piers have added security officers as part of routine daily operations. Handheld ID scanners were added to security measures at naval bases in the region earlier this year. Just one month ago the Navy held anti-terrorism drills at bases around the world which included an active-shooter drill at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Norfolk Navy Base encompasses more than 6,000 acres of land and is the home port for approximately 64 ships. A Navy hospital ship also uses the base for a home port. According to the most recent base statistics, approximately 46,000 members of the military are assigned to the Virginia base. Another 21,000 civilian contractors and government employees also work on the Norfolk base.
Captain Robert E. Clark Jr. was named the Naval Station Norfolk commanding officer in February. Captain David A. Culler Jr. was the previous commander, he is scheduled to retire in May. Clark began serving at an executive officer on the base in 2012.
The USS Mahan was commissioned in 1988 and has a crew of approximately 300 sailors and officers.
[Image Via: Defense News]