Official: Sailor used service weapon to kill at Pearl Harbor
Published 6:06 am Friday, December 6, 2019
HONOLULU — A U.S. sailor shot three civilians with his service weapon, killing two of them, before taking his own life at Pearl Harbor, just days before thousands descend on the storied military base to mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese bombing that propelled the United States into World War II.
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial already had plans for additional security for the annual ceremony before the shooting Wednesday across the harbor at the Navy’s shipyard, spokesman Jay Blount said.
About a dozen survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, bombing were expected to attend Saturday, along with dignitaries and service members.
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The shooter was identified Thursday as 22-year-old G. Romero, according to a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that had not been made public.
Romero’s job was to stand watch on the fast attack submarine USS Columbia, which is at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for maintenance. He used his service rifle to shoot the victims, then killed himself with his service pistol, the official said.
Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said he didn’t know the motive for the shooting Wednesday at the naval shipyard within the base. The wounded victim was hospitalized in stable condition.
It wasn’t known if the sailor and the three men working for the U.S. Department of Defense knew each other, Chadwick said.
“We have no indication yet whether they were targeted or if it was a random shooting,” Chadwick said.
Tara Kapoi told The Associated Press that her 30-year-old husband, Vincent Kapoi Jr., was one of those killed. She said he worked at the shipyard and grew up in Waianae, a town on the west side of Oahu.
“We don’t know what happened,” she said Thursday, asking for privacy.