By Eric M. Johnson
(Reuters) – A civilian shot dead a sailor aboard a ship at a U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, late on Monday before being killed by base security forces, naval officials said.
Security services briefly shut down Naval Station Norfolk after the incident involving the two men, which occurred on board the USS Mahan destroyer while it was docked at the base’s Pier 1, Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker said.
The civilian had been carrying a firearm on the base in violation of rules that only allow security personnel to do so, Baker said.
The lockdown lasted approximately 45 minutes, she added. The base, the largest naval station in the world, was secure.
The sailor was an active-duty member and Navy officials were looking into the “access and credentials” of the civilian, who did have authorization to be on the installation, Baker said.
The shooting came months after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, some 200 miles north of Norfolk, killing 12 people and wounding four being slain by police.
At the time of Monday’s shooting, Navy personnel were on board the ship and also on the pier. It was unclear who subdued the suspect and in what circumstances.
Officials have launched an investigation to establish a motive for the killing and information about the men involved, Baker said. More information about the incident was not immediately available.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service as well as base security personnel were conducting the investigation.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Gareth Jones)