Officials have released the names of the U.S. sailor and the two Department of Defense employees he fatally shot before taking his own life Wednesday at Pearl Harbor.
Roldan Aguinaldo Agustin, 49, of Ewa Beach, and Vincent J. Kapoi Jr., 30, of Honolulu, died by gunshot wounds, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Kapoi was a metals inspector apprentice. Agustin was a shop planner.
Machinist’s Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero, 22, of Texas, was identified as the shooter who then took his own life.
A third DOD civilian Romero shot, a 36-year-old man, was not named. He remains in stable condition.
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick addressed two questions and the press conference was over.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Romero was assigned to the USS Columbia (SSN771). The submarine, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, remains in dry dock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for routine maintenance.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other officials are currently investigating the incident, officials said.
Romero’s motive is not yet known, they said.
Killings Unfolded Within Seconds
At a Friday morning press conference, Norman Dominesey, Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent in charge, expressed his condolences and offered some details about the incident.
At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, military officials and the Honolulu Police Department were notified and immediately responded to a report of an active shooter on Dry Dock 2 at the naval shipyard, according to Dominesey.
The shooting happened within 23 seconds, he said.
Romero was discovered dead when authorities arrived at the scene. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Dominesey said.
NCIS Special Agent Norman Dominesey said law enforcement agencies are working together to find answers.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The area was locked down for about 90 minutes until officials determined there was no further threat. The three civilian victims were transported to area hospitals, and two succumbed to their injuries, according to Dominesey.
Romero’s job had been to keep people safe.
“The subject was assigned as a duty watch stander, and was armed for security duties,” Dominesey said.
Officials would not say whether Romero used a service weapon to kill himself or the others.
Several thousand shipyard employees were in the area at the time of the shooting, Dominesey said, and NCIS officials immediately screened all employees for potential witness information.
“Witnesses reportedly observed shots fired at the victims,” Dominesey said, and some observed Romero shoot himself.
Evidence has been collected from the shooting scene, Romero’s room and his barrack’s room. Investigators are also reviewing Romero’s “electronic media” in an attempt to determine a motive, Dominesey said.
There is no information to suggest Romero has ties to domestic terrorism, according to Dominesey.
Sam Miranda, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Honolulu field office, said this appears to be an isolated incident not associated with any particular ideology. He said the shooter appears to have acted alone.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Miranda said.
Many Unanswered Questions
The officials at Friday’s press conference took only two questions – answered with little information – before walking out amid protests from journalists. They wouldn’t address the reported claims that Romero had anger management issues or had disciplinary problems, as reported by Hawaii News Now.
The media were frustrated Friday morning by the lack of answers authorities provided at a press conference about Wednesday’s shooting at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (Cory Lum/Civil Beat)
Chuck Anthony, a public affairs officer who remained in the room, also deflected questions. Asked if he could provide a photo and the disciplinary record of the shooter, Anthony said those documents, ostensibly public records, would not be released Friday.
Meanwhile, a naval base in Pensacola, Florida experienced its own fatal shooting on Friday. A Saudi Air Force member killed three people and was then shot dead himself by responding officers. Officials in Florida have already held two press conferences to share information with the public.
Officials left a press conference after taking only two questions.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The Navy said it delayed the release of the shooter’s and victims’ names in the Pearl Harbor incident until next of kin were notified.
A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Kapoi was known as a “family guy” who was soft-spoken and hardworking, according to his college roommate Daniel Vu. The 30-year-old was just married a few months ago to his wife Tara, who requested privacy.
“He was very giving, very generous and willing to sacrifice a lot,” Vu said. “He was one of the good guys out there.”
In a statement, Agustin’s family called him a “true American patriot” who served in the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard.
“He was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend to many,” the family said. “Having grown up in Waipahu, Roldan enjoyed working on cars with his friends and spending time with his family and adored his nieces. We will forever remember Roldan to be humble and honest, and a generous and patient man.”
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