A junior sailor who fatally shot himself Tuesday while standing watch on a San Diego Navy pier has been identified as Seaman Isaiah Glenn Silvio Peralta.
Precisely what happened remains unclear, but officials said this week that the 20-year-old Peralta shot himself on the Naval Air Station North Island pier at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.
He is assigned to the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which got underway at about 10 a.m. that morning.
Peralta was transported to the University of California-San Diego Medical Center and pronounced dead there, Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke told Navy Times Tuesday.
Naval Air Forces officials say Peralta hailed from Walnut Creek, California.
He was unmarried and had no children.
Peralta enlisted in September 2018 and reported to TR in August 2019, his first assignment out of training, according to his service record.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating Peralta’s suicide and officials from the agency did not respond to Navy Times requests for comment Thursday night.
In a letter sent to the TR community dated Tuesday and obtained by Navy Times, commanding officer Capt. Eric Anduze expressed sorrow over Peralta’s death.
“We will honor our Sailor’s life by the way we live ours,” he wrote. “As I spoke to the crew this evening, I reminded the Rough Riders that we are indeed a team; that everyone, every single one of us matters; that without even a single one of us, life wouldn’t be the same.”
“Let’s take time as a team – you, your loved ones, friends, and me – to remember the value we bring to each other’s lives and remind one another that we are in this together.”
Peralta’s family could not be reached for comment, and the factors that led the young man to take his own life remain unclear.
His suicide comes as the crews and families of Theodore Roosevelt are preparing for another deployment, mere months after the ship returned to San Diego in July from a cruise where a COVID-19 outbreak infected roughly 25 percent of the sailors onboard and forced the carrier to sideline in Guam for months this spring.
One TR sailor, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, died April 13 at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam from COVID complications.
TR community members told Navy Times late last month that sailors are being told to expect the “double-pump” deployment to take place late this year or early next.
“There’s a lot of pent-up frustration with Big Navy,” one TR spouse said of the looming double pump. “Like, what are you doing?”
While they had been told before TR left in January to expect back-to-back deployments, some community members expressed frustration with the plan going ahead after the harrowing COVID cruise that also saw the firing of their commanding officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, after his pleas for help were leaked to the media.
Navy officials have declined to discuss deployment schedules but told Navy Times last month that TR is in the portion of its 36-month readiness cycle where it must be prepared to deploy on “short notice” and that “deployment resiliency” resources and other assistance are being provided to the carrier’s crew and family members.
Cmdr. Zachary Harrell, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces, said in a statement Thursday that TR’s “Command Resiliency Team” is meeting with sailors and providing support and counseling.
The resiliency team is comprised of chaplains, the ship’s psychologist and an embarked deployed resiliency counselor."
“A Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team (SPRINT) is also en route to the ship,” Harrell said. “In addition, the command is facilitating an emotional support group called Peer to Pier in order to assist Sailors of all ranks as they mourn their shipmate’s death.”