The sailor who opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Wednesday, killing two Department of Defense workers and wounding a third, before taking his own life was Machinist’s Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero.

In a prepared statement emailed to Navy Times on Friday, Pentagon officials indicated that Romero was assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Columbia, which is homeported in Hawaii and is undergoing dry dock repairs there.

Romero, 22, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound less than two years after he enlisted in the Navy, officials added.

His deceased victims are Metals Inspector Apprentice Vincent J. Kapoi, 30, and Shop Planner (Nondestructive Testing) Roldan A. Agustin, 49.

A third victim is recovering at a nearby hospital.

Romero joined the Navy out of Texas on Dec. 11, 2017, according to his military records.

After graduating the Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Illinois, and Navy Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut, he reported to Columbia on June 28, 2018.

He picked up the pay grade of E-3 on June 16, 2019.

Questions have arisen about the mental state of the gunman in the days leading up to the mass shooting.

Officials have declined to reply to concerns that Romero had sought out counseling and been targeted by an informal hearing tied to non-judicial punishment proceedings before he was provided loaded firearms for guard duty at the submarine.

“That’s all part of the investigation that’s going on right now,” said Rear Adm. Robert B. Chadwick II, the commander of Navy Region Hawaii, during a Friday press conference.

Speaking to reporters, Special Agent in Charge for the NCIS Hawaii Field Office Norm Dominesey called the Pearl Harbor shooting a “senseless act of violence" but vowed to find out what motivated Romero to kill the shipyard workers.

Federal and local law enforcement descending on Dry Dock 2 in the aftermath of the gunfire discovered Romero had shot himself in the head and was dead.

Surrounding the bloodshed were thousands of shipyard workers and all had to be screened by investigators to see if they had any information about the shooting. Witnesses reported that Romero gunned down the three men and then took his own life in the span of only 23 seconds.

Dominesey said the area around the dry dock remains a crime scene and that agents already have searched Romero’s barracks and personal vehicle and have begun sifting through his electronic communications to find a motive for the crime.

He said that there were no indications that Romero was a domestic terrorist and it appears he acted alone, conclusions that were echoed by FBI Special Agent in Charge Eli “Sam” Miranda.

The somber press conference capped what Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday called late Friday “a devastating week for our Navy family.”

The man authorities say drove a truck through the gate at Virginia’s Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story before striking a Navy police cruiser and killing a sailor inside on Saturday was expected to be arraigned Friday.

Nathaniel Lee Campbell, 38, of Shenandoah, Virginia, is in the custody of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a news release early Thursday.

Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar J. Temores was responding to a report of a gate runner around 7:35 p.m. Saturday when his police cruiser was struck head on by a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Campbell at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Leyte Street, the Navy and police said.

Then on Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, a Saudi Arabian military student preparing to begin aviation training there opened fire in a classroom, killing three victims and injuring eight more before dying in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers, according to state, Pentagon and Escambia County Sheriff’s officials.

“When tragedy hits, as it did today, and Wednesday in Pearl Harbor, it is felt by all,” said Gilday in a prepared statement emailed to Navy Times. "Those who grieve do not do so alone. We grieve together alongside you. We serve together as one team, as one Fleet, as part of one Joint Force.

"As shipmates — uniform and civilian, active and reserve — we must come together to be the strength and support for those who need us now. No one should feel alone. There are many resources available for us all — including counselors, chaplains and mental health professionals. We must look out for each other and take care of one another. That extra effort to extend a hand or lend an ear to those who need help should never be underestimated. It will make a difference.”

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly said in an earlier message that the entire Navy and Marine Corps are "struck and deeply saddened by the attacks within our own naval family over the past several days, at Little Creek, Virginia last week, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Wednesday, and today in Pensacola, Florida.

"These acts are crimes against all of us. Our prayers are with the families of the fallen and with the wounded. It is our solemn duty to find the causes of such tragic loss and ceaselessly work together to prevent them. Let us make concerted efforts to care for the families of those lost, and those wounded, visibly and not. Let us shepherd them through these first moments of despair, and make them, and our greater Naval family, whole and strong. "

If you, a friend or a loved one is in crisis, please connect with a trained counselor now. Confidential, immediate help is available 24/7 at no cost to active duty, Guard and reserve members, their families and friends. Contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255. Your life matters.

This is a developing story and Navy Times will continue to update this article.

In Other News
Load More