Two Shot Dead Aboard U.S. Navy Ship

By MarEx 2014-03-27 08:46:00

Update: Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark A. Mayo, 24, was killed during a shooting incident at Naval Station Norfolk March 24. 

Mayo was assigned to Naval Security Forces, Naval Station Norfolk. A Hagerstown, Md. native, Mayo enlisted in the Navy in October 2007 and reported to Naval Station Norfolk in May 2011.

"Petty Officer Mayo's actions on Monday evening were nothing less than heroic. He selflessly gave his own life to ensure the safety of the Sailors on board USS Mahan (DDG 72)," said Capt. Robert E. Clark, Jr., commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk. "Petty Officer Mayo's family has endured a tremendous loss, as have the men and women of Naval Station Norfolk, in the loss of a shipmate and friend."

The events of Monday evening are under investigation but it is known at approximately 11:20 p.m. there was a shooting on board Mahan at Pier 1. The suspect approached the Mahan's quarterdeck and was confronted by the ship's petty officer of the watch. A struggle occurred and the suspect was able to disarm the Sailor. Mayo, serving as the chief-of-the-guard, rendered assistance after seeing the suspect board the ship. Mayo put himself between the gunman and the petty officer of the watch and as a result was fatally wounded.

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A civilian shot dead a sailor aboard a ship at a U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, late on Monday before being killed by base security forces, naval officials said.

Security services briefly shut down Naval Station Norfolk after the incident involving the two men, which occurred on board the USS Mahan destroyer while it was docked at the base's Pier 1, Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker said.

The civilian had been carrying a firearm on the base in violation of rules that only allow security personnel to do so, Baker said.

The lockdown lasted approximately 45 minutes, she added. The base, the largest naval station in the world, was secure.

The sailor was an active-duty member and Navy officials were looking into the "access and credentials" of the civilian, who did have authorization to be on the installation, Baker said.

The shooting came months after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, some 200 miles north of Norfolk, killing 12 people and wounding four being slain by police.

At the time of Monday's shooting, Navy personnel were on board the ship and also on the pier. It was unclear who subdued the suspect and in what circumstances.

Officials have launched an investigation to establish a motive for the killing and information about the men involved, Baker said. More information about the incident was not immediately available.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service as well as base security personnel were conducting the investigation.

BY ERIC M. JOHNSON (C) Reuters 2014.