A tragedy Tuesday morning at Naval Station Norfolk occurred where a civilian was able to enter the base and fatally shoot a sailor before security personal killed the suspect. A quiet night was shattered when shots of gunfire rang out at Norfolk Naval Base when, according to a navy spokesperson, a civilian contractor was able to disarm a security officer and turn the weapon against a sailor. Robert Clark, an officer at Naval Station Norfolk, says, "We have two fatalities, one male sailor and one male civilian suspect. At approximately 11:20 p.m. last night, there was a shooting onboard U.S.S. Mahan. Pier One Naval Station Norfolk security forces responded and secured the scene."
Navy officials say security responded to the scene with deadly force, killing the armed civilian suspect. The sailor and suspect were pronounced dead at the scene and no other injuries were reported. Clark also says, "We were able to secure the installation for that brief period until we determined that the suspect was taken care of and then we were able to open up the installation because we didn't have any other threats." The incident on the base shows just how important training for an active shooter can be. Naval bases across the country, including the Seabee base in Gulfport, go through several active shooter drills at different times of the year.
Capt. Paul Odenthal, a Seabee, says, "We do active shooter all the time. We prepare for this situation and this is one of many we do throughout the year to make sure we're prepared for an incident like the Navy Yard." The incident may have resulted in a much greater loss of life had it not been for the Navy's timely response.