Pearl Harbor shooting that killed 2 Department of Defense workers lasted 23 seconds

Posted at 9:09 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 21:29:59-05

The two Defense Department civilian workers who were killed when a US sailor opened fire at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard earlier this week have been identified.

Security stands guard outside the main gate at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Hawaii, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. A shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii left at least one person injured Wednesday, military and hospital officials said. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam spokesman Charles Anthony confirmed that there was an active shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Vincent J. Kapoi, a metals inspector apprentice, and Roldan A. Agustin, who worked as a shop planner at the naval shipyard, were shot and killed on Wednesday, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam officials said in a statement.

A third victim who was injured during the shooting remains hospitalized in critical condition, Norman Dominesey, Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent in charge, told reporters on Friday.

Gabriel Antonio Romero, an active-duty US Navy sailor, opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval shipyard on Wednesday, US Navy officials said.

Within 23 seconds, he shot three civilian workers and killed himself, Dominesey said.

Romero, who was from Texas, was a machinist’s mate auxiliary fireman assigned to the USS Columbia attack submarine. The submarine was in a dry dock at the base for standard maintenance work.

The US sailor enlisted in December 2017 and completed boot camp and then the Navy’s submarine school on June 2018. The submarine was his first duty station, according to biographical data provided by the US Navy.

Authorities were still investigating a possible motive on Friday but officials do not believe the shooting was associated with terrorism.

“At this time this act does not appear to have been motivated by any particular ideology,” FBI Special Agent Sam Miranda told reporters.

Miranda said it appears that Romero acted alone.

The shooting took place just three days before National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, when the nation commemorates those who died in the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust the United States into World War II.

It was 78 years ago Saturday that the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,000 Americans and destroying a significant share of US battleships and airplanes.

An annual commemoration ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is expected to take place as planned on Saturday, a spokeswoman for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial said.

Click here for our full coverage on the deadly Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting.