A Virginia-based sailor died June 30 after he shot himself in an incident authorities ruled was accidental.

Mathews County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home of Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Peter Andrew Senise at about 3 a.m. following reports of a shooting, according to a sheriff’s office summary.

They found bystanders attempting CPR on the 35-year-old man, but he was declared dead at the scene by paramedics around 3:30 a.m., authorities said.

A preliminary investigation determined that Senise accidentally shot himself.

“The victim believed the gun to have been cleared of all ammunition as witnesses recalled him clearing the magazine but never saw him clear the chamber of the firearm,” the sheriff’s office reported.

While no foul play is suspected, alcohol was a factor in Senise’s death, the summary states.

Senise had been assigned to Norfolk-based Helicopter Mine Countermeasures 14 since 2016.

He “loved old things” and had been fixing up the old house where he died, his widow, Shannon Reilly-Senise, told Navy Times.

The two both hailed from Florida, and Reilly-Senise said she had remained there due to schooling needs for their 8-year-old autistic daughter. But they were in the process of moving up to Virginia.

Aside from his family, Senise’s “pride and joy was his ’66 Ford Bronco,” she said.

Peter Senise and his wife, Shannon Reilly-Senise, in 2017. (Photo courtesy Shannon Reilly-Senise)
Peter Senise and his wife, Shannon Reilly-Senise, in 2017. (Photo courtesy Shannon Reilly-Senise)

Senise joined the military later than most but made friends with everybody, from older sailors to younger shipmates who called him “grandpa,” Reilly-Senise said.

Before that he had worked as a firefighter at NASCAR events but was looking for steadier employment, Reilly-Senise said.

Senise joined the Navy in 2015.

He had enlisted for job security, found he loved the Navy and was about to reenlist, she said.

Senise was laid to rest in Florida on Tuesday.