Sole Survivor of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Shooting in Stable Condition

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Visitors are seen near the entrance to Pearl Harbor National Memorial Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Honolulu. AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

The 36-year-old Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard employee who survived a shooting incident Wednesday at the base issued a statement Saturday urging the public to respect his family's privacy.

The Queen's Medical Center, which issued the statement, said shipyard apprentice Roger Nakamine remains in stable condition at the Honolulu hospital. The statement did not state what injuries Nakamine may have sustained or the severity of his condition.

Nakamine had not previously been identified as the shooting's sole survivor.

"My family and I would like to express our gratitude to the first responders and the expert medical staff at Queen's, as well as to all the friends and extended ohana who have been reaching out to offer their support physically, emotionally and spiritually," Nakamine said. "Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and families of Vincent Kapoi Jr. and Roldan Agustin. We ask that the media please respect our privacy as we all continue to grieve and heal."

Nakamine and his family are not doing any media interviews at this time, the statement said.

Navy Seaman Gabriel Antonio Romero of Texas has been identified by military officials as the 22-year-old sailor who used two service weapons to fatally shoot Kapoi and Agustin, two civilian shipyard workers and injure Nakamine before killing himself around mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Romero had been undergoing counseling because he was unhappy with his commanders, a military official told The Associated Press on Friday. An official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the sailor faced nonjudicial punishment, a lower-level administrative process for minor misconduct.

Shipyard workers who spoke to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser but declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media said there have been multiple shooting suicides over the years at the shipyard and two within the past few months, but they could not recall a past murder.

A joint news conference held Friday just outside Pearl Harbor with military and civilian officials including Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard abruptly ended after brief statements and only two questions from the news media were allowed.

The officials did not answer questions on whether the gunman had been disciplined in the past or was facing disciplinary review and -- if so -- why he was allowed to be armed with an M4 rifle and an M9 pistol to guard the USS Columbia fast attack submarine.

Romero was a machinist's mate auxiliary fireman assigned to the USS Columbia, a submarine in Drydock 2 at the shipyard. On Wednesday he was assigned as watch-stander for the submarine, officials said.

 

This article is written by Gordon Y.K. Pang from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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