Three people are dead and one other was injured during a shooting near a dry dock at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Wednesday afternoon, according to the base.

The shooter, a U.S. sailor, shot and killed himself after shooting three civilian Department of Defense workers, Rear Adm. Robb Chadwick said at a news conference Wednesday evening.

The names won’t be released until the next of kin are notified. The shooter was assigned to the USS Columbia submarine.

Base security and the Navy are investigating the shooting. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has the lead.

“This is certainly a tragedy,” Chadwick said. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone involved.”

Security at the Makalapa Gate controlled access around 3 p.m. Wednesday after reports of a shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

The Queen’s Medical Center confirmed the hospital received one shooting victim, a 36-year-old male who is in guarded condition, which is between critical and stable.

Hawaii News Now interviewed a witness who said he saw the shooter turn the gun on himself. The witness told the station that he was at his desk when he heard loud pops, “I kind of recognize that as gunshots. I looked out in time to see the shooter … shoot himself.”

The shooting started sometime around 2:30 p.m., according to Jackey Smith, the base spokeswoman. Access was restored to the base about 90 minutes later.

It’s unclear what weapon was used or what the nature of the relationship was between the shooter and the victims.

More than a dozen Honolulu Police Department and other emergency vehicles, including an HPD BearCat, arrived at the scene.

Rear Adm. Robb Chadwick speaks to reporters Wednesday evening at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a U.S. sailor shot and killed two Department of Defense civilians and wounded one other before killing himself. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Three Department of Education schools were placed on lockdown during the incident: Mokulele Elementary, Hickam Elementary, and Nimitz Elementary, which is off base. Most students weren’t on campus at the time since it was an early release day. 

A shipyard worker told Civil Beat that he heard the emergency sirens go off shortly after 2 p.m., but did not receive the DOD alert on his phone until almost an hour later.

Gov. David Ige released a statement expressing his condolences.

“I join in solidarity with the people of Hawai‘i as we express our heartbreak over this tragedy and concern for those affected by the shooting,” Ige said. “Details are still emerging as security forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam investigate. The White House has reached out to offer assistance from federal agencies, and the state is standing by to assist where necessary.”

The shooting happened three days before the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

“We’re getting ready to celebrate, or at least honor, the 78th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the role that the shipyard played in WWII is pretty legendary,” Chadwick said at the news conference. “And the shipyard is well known for the amazing work they did then and the amazing work they continue to do, so this is certainly a tragedy for everyone here.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a statement thanking federal and state partners and the city’s first responders who rushed to the scene. He said the Medical Examiner’s Office is assisting the military with its investigation, and if additional city resources are needed, the city stands ready to provide additional help.

Civil Beat reporters Yoohyun Jung, April Estrellon, Suevon Lee, Eleni Gill, Christina Jedra and Nathan Eagle contributed to this report.

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