Navy Sailor Murders Civilian Employees At Pearl Harbor Shipyard
Honolulu, HI – A U.S. Navy sailor opened fire with his service rifle at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on Tuesday, killing two civilian employees and seriously wounding a third.
The incident occurred at a dry dock on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 when a man in a sailor uniform opened fire on civilian employees nearby, the Daily Mail reported.
Witnesses reported that the man shot three people with his M4 service rifle and then pulled out his M9 Beretta 9mm service pistol and shot himself in the head.
The gunman has been identified as 22-year-old Gabriel Romero, an active-duty sailor assigned to the USS Columbia, a 360-foot submarine that was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor for maintenance, the Washington Examiner reported.
The victims, all of whom were civilian employees of the Department of Defense, were transported to the hospital in critical condition by ambulance, and two of them later died.
One of the murdered men has been identified as 32-year-old Vincent Kapoi, the Daily Mail reported.
The names of the other victims have not been released.
The third victim remained in “guarded” condition at Queens Medical Center, HNN reported.
Police have no motive for the shootings at this time, nor have they revealed knowledge of any connection between the gunman and his victims, the Daily Mail reported.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone involved,” Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “This is certainly a tragedy for everyone here.”
Chadwick said authorities didn’t yet know if the shipyard employees had been targeted or selected at random, according to HNN.
“I know that no words will convey the full measure of sorrow from today’s tragedy,” Shipyard Commander Captain Greg Burton wrote in a message to shipyard employees. “This loss will be felt throughout our shipyard ‘Ohana, greater shipyard & NAVSEA family, submarine force, and the Navy as a whole.”
The USS Columbia was commissioned in 1995 and carries a crew of about 150 sailors, the Washington Examiner reported.
The shootings occurred just a few days ahead of the 78th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941.