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U.S. Navy investigates apparent suicide of submarine sailor

The U.S., Navy said it will open an investigation into the apparent suicide of a submarine sailor at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
The U.S., Navy said it will open an investigation into the apparent suicide of a submarine sailor at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

March 17 (UPI) -- An inquiry will begin in the death, by apparent self-inflicted gunshot, of a sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii, the U.S. Navy announced.

The unidentified sailor was aboard a submarine when the shooting occurred on Monday, the Navy said, adding that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service will investigate.

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"Out of respect for the family the name will not be released until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified," Cmdr. Cindy Fields, a spokeswoman for Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told Stars and Stripes.

"This is to provide adequate time to notify and care for the family prior to public announcement. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sailors' family, friends and shipmates."

"While it would be inappropriate to comment on specific details of an ongoing investigation, the Sailor died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound while on duty aboard a submarine at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard," Fields added.

USNI News reported on Wednesday that the sailor was on watch aboard the USS Charlotte, a submarine commissioned in 1994 and currently at the shipyard for an engineered overhaul.

At the same shipyard in 2019, Machinist Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Romero, on watch aboard the submarine USS Columbia, shot two civilian workers to death before he died by suicide.

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The incident led to an investigation recommending changes in how the Navy addresses mental health issues among submarine personnel.

While submarine sailors are not allowed to carry personal weapons aboard their vessels, watch standers are typically armed with 9mm handguns.

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