One can never deny the hardships Pearl Harbor has seen. Recently, another incident has occurred with a shooting attack from an active-duty sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. A military official stated 22-year-old G. Romero, who was identified as the shooter, killed himself in the horrendous act of violence. Three civilians were shot, and two out of the three employees died in the attack.
Romero took his M4 service rifle and opened fire on the personnel at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, then took his M9 service pistol and ended his own life when he was finished. The civilian workers were employed by the Department of Defense and were immediately found in the area of Dry Dock 2.
According to Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, who is the commander at the Navy Region Hawaii stated, when the three civilians were found, two were dead, and the third was sent to the hospital and is known to be in stable condition. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time, as they are still investigating the reasons. Chadwick added the sailor was stationed on the USS Columbia, which is docked at Pearl Harbor.
A witness told reporters from Hawaii News, “There were loud pops. I kind of recognize that as gunshots. I looked out the window and saw three people on the ground. I looked out in time to see the shooter, who I assume was a sailor because he was in uniform, shoot himself.”
The commander at the shipyard, Captain Greg Burton, released this statement, “No words will convey the full measure of sorrow from today’s tragedy. This loss will be felt throughout our shipyard ‘Ohana, greater shipyard & NAVSEA family, submarine force, and the Navy as a whole. For any who have worked alongside those lost today, please reach out to your chain of command and let them know so that we can facilitate time for you to begin to process this tragedy.”
Burton added, “As we mourn the loss of members of our ‘Ohana, please take the opportunity to reconnect with each other and to reinforce and strengthen the bonds with each other. We value each one of you deeply, and we are here for you.”
Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono put out this statement, “While the investigation into this incident continues, my thoughts and aloha are with the victims of the terrible tragedy at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and with their families. I join all of Hawaii in expressing our gratitude to the first responders who rush toward danger every day to keep us safe.”
This attack opens up wounds for America, even though it was nothing compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor 78 years ago. Any loss of life, even one, is a terrible loss, but to happen so close to the day of remembrance when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was the attack that put America into World War II.
As the words ring out through history from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” It is almost a mockery to have a shooting take place with the loss of life in the same location 78 years later, almost to the date.
Saturday, December 7, America remembers the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day since it was instituted in August of 1994, and events took place every year at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
The History Channel explained briefly what happened, “Just before 8 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes made the surprise raid on Pearl Harbor. During the attack, which was launched from aircraft carriers, nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, were damaged or destroyed, as well as more than 300 aircraft.” The death toll was officially counted at 2,403, where military servicemen and civilians were killed.
In the coming days, through the investigations, we will find out if it was just a random act of terror, a personal issue with Romero and his victims, or if it did or did not have anything to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Everything is speculation at this time, and many questions are unanswered for the time being.
Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, stated the White House offered condolences and any assistance needed in the investigations. He also put out this statement, “I join in solidarity with the people of Hawaii as we express our heartbreak over this tragedy and concern for those affected by the shooting.”