San Diego Navy base on lockdown after pellet gun shooting

San Diego's Navy base essentially shut down for two hours Thursday morning, after a sailor brandished a weapon that turned out to be a pellet gun.

  • close
    Captain Scott F. Adams (r.), Commanding Officer of San Diego's Navy Base Point Loma, accompanied by Lt. Commander Steve Ruh (l.), talks about an incident on the base in which a sailor was arrested for operating Airsoft weapon on the base on April 24.
    Lenny Ignelzi/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

A major Navy base ground to a halt for more than two hours Thursday after a sailor waved a weapon from a sixth-floor barracks room that turned out to be a pellet gun used for recreational purposes, officials said.

The sailor, whose name was not released, told authorities that he fired the weapon at a mirror in a parking garage, said Capt. Scott Adams, commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma. Pellets were recovered near the mirror.

The Navy characterized the weapon as an airsoft gun, which is often used for games and simulated combat. Adams said it was "something designed for sporting activity."

Recommended: US gun industry by the numbers

Someone on the ground saw the sailor brandishing the weapon from the sixth floor, said Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ruh, a base spokesman.

"When you're looking up six floors, they resemble the real thing," Ruh said.

The sighting — less than a month after a shooting rampage by a soldier at Fort Hood in Texas killed three people and wounded 16 others — prompted a swift response from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, an FBI SWAT team and San Diego police.

All base personnel were ordered inside and told to stay away from windows and doors after the initial report around 10 a.m. PDT, Adams said. The shooter went to a nearby room in the barracks to join another serviceman, officials said.

The sailor surrendered to Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials around 12:30 p.m. PDT, Adams said. Both servicemen were taken into custody and are under investigation.

"It went flawlessly," Ruh said. "You could not have had a better outcome. Fortunately, these sailors didn't have real weapons."

The Navy said in a press release that two servicemen fired weapons. Adams said only one was seen with the gun.

Naval Base Point Loma, located on the tip of a peninsula near downtown San Diego, houses seven submarines, the Third Fleet Command, the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and other major units. Six naval installations were consolidated on the base in 1998 as part of a military downsizing that followed the end of the Cold War.

The base has about 7,000 sailors and employees, only some of whom live there, Ruh said.

Adams said he didn't know the rank or history of the men, or whether they exhibited warning signs. The sailors lived in the barracks which houses junior enlisted servicemen, he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.




Save for later


Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items