NORFOLK — One sailor is dead and another behind bars following a shooting Sunday night in nearby Portsmouth.
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Dalen O’Shay Spence, 21, faces charges for murder and using a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the slaying of Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) 3rd Class Donald Alton Thorington, 23.
It was the second shooting and fourth death linked to sailors during a violent weekend here. On Saturday, another service member apparently shot himself to death after killing two female sailors near a 7-11 convenience store.
Detectives consider the shootings unrelated.
On Sunday at around 9:30 p.m., Portsmouth Police Department officers rushed to the 1300 block of Atlanta Avenue following reports that a man had been shot.
They found Thorington with gunshot wounds to his torso. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a police press release.
After two days of investigation, Portsmouth Police detectives traced the shooting to Spence, a North Carolina native who is assigned to the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush.
The warship is undergoing maintenance at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.
Detained initially by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents before being turned over to Portsmouth Police on Tuesday, Spence was slated for arraignment Wednesday in Portsmouth General District Court.
But online court records indicate his hearing has been continued to May 24.
Citing the ongoing probe, Portsmouth Police declined to speculate on a motive for the shooting.
Spence reported to the carrier on July 21, 2017, four months after enlisting in the Navy, according to military records released to Navy Times.
Originally from Michigan, Thorington enlisted in the Navy in early 2015, according to his service records.
At the time of his death, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier George Washington. It’s undergoing a midlife refueling and overhaul at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipyard.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.