By Audrey McAvoy and Caleb Jones, Associated Press
A Navy sailor shot three civilians, killing two of them, before taking his own life at Pearl Harbor just days before thousands were scheduled to gather at the storied military base to mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese bombing that launched the U.S. into World War II.
Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, the commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said the service would evaluate whether security should be upgraded before the annual ceremony. About a dozen survivors of the 1941 bombing were expected to attend, along with dignitaries and service members.
The shooter was identified Thursday as 22-year-old G. Romero, according to a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that had not been made public.
Chadwick said he didn’t know the motive behind Wednesday’s shooting at the naval shipyard within the base. The third victim was hospitalized.
It wasn’t known if the sailor and the three male civilians had any type of relationship, or what the motive was for the shooting, Chadwick said.
“We have no indication yet whether they were targeted or if it was a random shooting,” Chadwick said.
The sailor was assigned to the fast attack submarine USS Columbia, which is at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for maintenance.
He was identified as a 22-year-old enlisted sailor, according to a military official speaking on condition of anonymity to provide details that hadn’t been made public
It wasn’t immediately known what type of weapon was used or how many shots were fired. Chadwick said that was part of the investigation. Personal weapons are not allowed on base.
Names of the victims will not be released until next of kin have been notified.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone involved. I can say that we are mobilizing support services for naval shipyard personnel as well as everyone else who may be affected by this tragic event,” Chadwick said.
The base went into lockdown at about 2:30 p.m. when the first active shooter reports were received. The base reopened a few hours later. Witnesses were still being interviewed hours after the shooting.
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 also hosts Air Force units.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the White House has offered assistance from federal agencies and that the state is also ready to help if needed.
“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.