HONOLULU (AP) – A 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 US into World War II.
Commander of Navy Region Hawaii Rear Adm Robert Chadwick said the service would evaluate whether security would need to be upgraded ahead of the annual ceremony. About a dozen survivors of the 1941 bombing were expected to attend, along with dignitaries and service members.
Chadwick said he didn’t know the motive behind Wednesday’s shooting at the naval shipyard within the base. The third victim was hospitalised.
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 targetted 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. Details about the sailor were not immediately released. 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 won’t 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 mobilising 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 around 2.30pm 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 modernises the ships and submarines of the US 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.