Sailor kills 2, himself in attack at Pearl Harbor shipyard

Traffic backs up at the main gates after a shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval shipyard, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, near Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian Department of Defense employees at the Pearl Harbor shipyard before taking his own life.

The military didn’t release a motive or any identifying information about the sailor who opened fire Wednesday at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. A third victim is in stable condition at a hospital. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam has reopened following a lockdown.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, one of the military’s major installations, said the shooting began around 2:30 p.m. The military didn’t release a motive.

Navy Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, the commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said he didn’t know what type of weapon the shooter used. He said people aren’t authorized to bring their personal weapons on base.

“Obviously, 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 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.

The shipyard is across the harbor from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which on Saturday will mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese bombing that propelled the U.S. into World War II. More than 2,300 Americans died in the attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

The shipyard has played a key role in naval history, most notably during World War II. Shipyard workers were given just days to repair the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier severely damaged during the Battle of the Coral Seat in 1942 because the Navy needed to quickly send the ship to Midway to meet Japanese forces there.

Some 1,400 shipyard workers labored around the clock for almost 72 hours to patch the carrier together. The planes the Yorktown delivered to Midway sank one of the four aircraft carriers Japan sent to the battle and helped destroy two others. The Battle of Midway turned the tide of the war in the United States’ favor.

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