Guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the largest naval base in the world in this July 7, 2011 U.S. Navy handout photo obtained by Reuters March 1, 2013. The Department of Defense announced planned cuts of $271 million in maintenance at the shipyards at the Norfolk base if automatic government cuts go into effect March 1, 2013 due to sequestration. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY BUSINESS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTR3EFZ0 U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz/Reuters
A sailor was fatally shot at the world's largest naval base late Monday and security forces killed a male civilian suspect, a spokeswoman for Naval Station Norfolk said.
The shooting happened around 11:20 p.m. aboard the USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, base spokeswoman Terri Davis said early Tuesday.
Davis would not describe the circumstances of the shooting but said the scene was secure. No other injuries were reported.
Davis said that the two killed were both males but that she did not have any other information about them. She said she could not say whether the civilian had permission to be aboard the ship.
The base — the largest naval installation in the world — was briefly put on lockdown after the shooting as a precaution, but that was later lifted. Operations have returned to normal at the base, with counsellors available, the Navy said in a news release, but enlisted sailors on the Mahan were not to report to duty Tuesday.
To get on the base, civilians must be escorted or have a pass. Each base entrance is guarded, and all 13 piers have additional security forces.
The shooting, which was under investigation, comes just months after a September incident at the Washington Navy Yard, in which a gunman — identified as a contractor and former Navy reservist — killed 12 civilian workers before being shot to death.
The shooting also comes about a month after the Navy held anti-terrorism and force protection exercises around the world, including an active-shooter drill at Naval Station Norfolk.
The base covers more than 6,000 acres and is the home port for 64 ships, according to information the Navy provided in February. The base also is the home port for a Navy hospital ship. About 46,000 military members and 21,000 civilian government employees and contractors are assigned to the base and its ships, according to the Navy figures.
In February, Capt. Robert E. Clark Jr. became Naval Station Norfolk's commanding officer. He took over for Capt. David A. Culler Jr., who was set to retire in May. Clark had served as the installation's executive officer since 2012.
The USS Mahan, commissioned in 1998, has a crew of about 300 officers and sailors. In September, it returned to Norfolk after a deployment of more than eight months that included being positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a potential strike against Syria.
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