The Navy says the civilian suspected of fatally shooting a sailor aboard a docked destroyer disarmed a petty officer who was on watch and did not use his own weapon.
A Navy news release says the man approached the USS Mahan late Monday night and was confronted by ship security personnel. The Navy says a struggle occurred, and the civilian disarmed the petty officer, and used the weapon to fatally shoot a sailor. The news release says Navy security forces then killed the suspect.
Spokeswoman Terri Davis said early Tuesday that the suspect had access to be at Naval Station Norfolk. The station is the world's largest naval base.
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No other injuries were reported.
The base was briefly put on lockdown after the shooting. Operations had returned to normal at the base, with counselors available, the Navy said in a news release, but enlisted sailors on the Mahan were not to report to duty Tuesday.
To get on the base, civilians must be escorted or have a pass. Each base entrance is guarded, and all 13 piers have additional security forces. As part of ongoing security efforts, handheld ID scanners were implemented this year at Navy bases in the region, including the Norfolk station.
The shooting, which was under investigation, comes months after a September incident at the Washington Navy Yard, in which a gunman — identified as a contractor and former Navy reservist — killed 12 civilian workers before being shot to death.
The shooting also comes about a month after the Navy held anti-terrorism and force protection exercises around the world, including an active-shooter drill at the Norfolk base.
The base covers more than 6,000 acres and is the home port for 64 ships, according to information the Navy provided in February. The base also is the home port for a Navy hospital ship. About 46,000 military members and 21,000 civilian government employees and contractors are assigned to the base and its ships, according to the Navy figures.
In February, Capt. Robert E. Clark Jr. became Naval Station Norfolk's commanding officer. He took over for Capt. David A. Culler Jr., who was set to retire in May. Clark had served as the installation's executive officer since 2012.
The Mahan, commissioned in 1998, has a crew of about 300. In September, it returned to Norfolk after a deployment of more than eight months that included being positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a potential strike against Syria.