NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – Aboard a guided-missile destroyer docked at the world’s largest naval base, a sailor was fatally shot and security forces killed the single civilian suspect late Monday, according to the Navy.
No other injuries were reported, and Naval Station Norfolk was briefly put on lockdown, base spokeswoman Terri Davis said early Tuesday.
Davis identified the suspect as a male civilian but said she couldn’t say whether he had permission to be aboard the ship or on the base. She would not describe the circumstances of the shooting but said the scene was secure.
She said the sailor killed also was a male but did not give other details about him.
Operations had returned to normal at the base, with counselors available, the Navy said in a news release, but enlisted sailors on the Mahan were not to report to duty Tuesday.
The shooting on the USS Mahan – about 11:20 p.m. Monday, as the destroyer was docked at Pier 1 – comes about a month after the Navy held anti-terrorism and force protection exercises around the world, including an active-shooter drill at the Norfolk base.
To get on the base, civilians must be escorted or have a pass. Each base entrance is guarded, and all 13 piers have additional security forces. As part of ongoing security efforts, handheld ID scanners were implemented this year at Navy bases in the region, including the Norfolk station.
The shooting, which was under investigation, comes months after a September incident at the Washington Navy Yard, in which a gunman – identified as a contractor and former Navy reservist – killed 12 civilian workers before being shot to death.
The Norfolk base covers more than 6,000 acres and is the home port for 64 ships, according to information the Navy provided in February. About 46,000 military members and 21,000 civilian government employees and contractors are assigned to the base and its ships, according to the Navy figures.
The base also is the home port for a Navy hospital ship, docked at Pier 1 with the Mahan.
In February, the Norfolk base got a new commanding officer, Capt. Robert E. Clark Jr. He took over for Capt. David A. Culler Jr., who was set to retire in May. Clark had served as the installation’s executive officer since 2012.
The Mahan, commissioned in 1998, has a crew of about 300. In September, it returned to Norfolk after a deployment of more than eight months that included being positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a potential strike against Syria.
Associated Press writer Bernard McGhee in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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