Sailor, Civilian Killed in Shooting at Navy Station

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 25 2014 11:04 AM

Sailor, Civilian Killed in Shooting at Navy Station

168650781-navy-ships-line-the-pier-at-naval-station-norfolk-in
US Navy ships line the pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, May 8, 2013

File photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

A civilian shot and killed a Navy sailor on board a U.S. destroyer late last night before he was in turn shot and killed by security forces at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, according to the military. Details of exactly what went down on the USS Mahan remains somewhat unclear but here's the rough outline of what happened according to a military spokeswoman, via the Washington Post:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

[Beth] Baker said the male suspect was a civilian who “did have authorization to be on the naval station.” She said it was “unclear if he had authorization to be on the destroyer.”
The suspect shot and killed the sailor, and Naval Security Forces subsequently killed the suspect, Baker said. No one else was injured in the incident. Officials were not releasing names or ages of those involved, pending notification of their relatives.
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The CNN fills in the outlines a bit, but keep in mind this is coming off-the-record from an anonymous source:

The civilian had some type of proper identification to get onto the base, but he breached security to get onto the destroyer, the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It's not known how he got access to the pier where the ship was docked. The pier has additional security to prevent unauthorized personnel from boarding ships, the official said.
Once on board, the civilian grabbed the service pistol of a petty officer who was standing guard, the official said. Two other security sailors arrived, and the civilian fatally shot one of them, according to the official.

According to the Associated Press, the Virginia naval base covers more than 6,000 acres and is the home port to 64 ships and a Navy hospital ship. Roughly 46,000 military members and 21,000 civilian employees and contractors work on or near the installation.

The incident comes six months after the September mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, where a Navy contrator shot and killed a dozen people before being shot to death.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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