Pearl Har­bor fa­tal shoot­ings lasted 23 sec­onds, base says

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD - By Au­drey McAvoy, Jen­nifer Sinco Kelle­her and Lolita C. Baldor

HONOLULU — The U.S. Navy sailor who fa­tally shot two peo­ple at Pearl Har­bor be­fore killing him­self was un­happy with his com­man­ders and had been un­der­go­ing coun­sel­ing, a mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

Gabriel Romero, 22, also faced non­ju­di­cial pun­ish­ment, which is a low­er­level ad­min­is­tra­tive proc- ess for mi­nor mis­con­duct, said the of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss per­son­nel mat­ters not made pub­lic. He used his two ser­vice weapons in the at­tack, the of­fi­cial said.

Romero also wounded a 36-year-old man in the at­tack Wed­nes­day at the naval ship­yard within the sto­ried mil­i­tary base be­fore turn­ing the gun on him­self, au­thor­i­ties said. That victim is in sta­ble con­di­tion at a hos­pi­tal.

The Pearl Har­bor shoot­ing came days be­fore a cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber those who per­ished in the Ja­panese bomb­ing 78 years ago that pro­pelled the U.S. into World War II.

Se­cu­rity will be beefed up as usual for the an­nual event that is ex­pected to draw sur­vivors, vet­er­ans, dig­ni­taries and oth­ers Satur­day to honor the more than 2,300 Amer­i­cans killed on Dec. 7, 1941.

Mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said Fri­day at a news con­fer­ence that no mo­tive had been iden­ti­fied yet for the shoot­ing but that there’s no ev­i­dence of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism. They said the iso­lated at­tack, wit­nessed by ship­yard em­ploy­ees in an area with thou­sands of work­ers, un­folded in about 23 sec­onds.

Romero, who was from Texas, was dead when au­thor­i­ties ar­rived, and he was armed for his job stand­ing watch and pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity for the fast at­tack sub­ma­rine USS Columbia, which is at Joint Base Pearl Har­bor-Hickam for main­te­nance, of­fi­cials said.

It was not known if Romero knew his vic­tims, Roldan Agustin, 49, and Vin­cent Kapoi Jr., 30.

Agustin was born in Laoag City, Philip­pines, and moved to Hawaii when he was 2, ac­cord­ing to his mother, Ida Agustin.

“He’s a good man,” she told The As­so­ci­ated Press through tears.

“I’m so sorry, anak ko,

I’m still shak­ing,” she added Fri­day, us­ing the phrase “my child” in Ilo­cano, a Filipino lan­guage.

Fam­ily mem­bers said Roldan Agustin served in the Navy and re­tired from the Army Na­tional Guard, then be­came a met­als in­spec­tor at the Pearl Har­bor Naval Ship­yard.

In a state­ment, his brother said Agustin en­joyed work­ing on cars with his friends and spend­ing time with fam­ily.

Tara Kapoi said her hus­band, Vin­cent, grew up in Wa­ianae, a town on the west side of Oahu.

“We don’t know what hap­pened,” she said Thurs­day, ask­ing for pri­vacy.

A fam­ily state­ment de­scribed him as an “easy­go­ing, fun-lov­ing, ‘let’s do this’ man” they would never for­get.

Wil­liam and Sista Kahi­amoe have lived next door to the Kapoi fam­ily for about 21 years and said Vin­cent Kapoi fol­lowed his fa­ther into civil­ian work at the ship­yard.

“He was a good boy, I know that. Took care of his mom when she was sick,” Sista Kahi­amoe said.

Col­lege room­mate Daniel Vu de­scribed Kapoi as a soft-spo­ken and hard­work­ing “fam­ily guy” who woke up at 3 a.m. to work at the fishing docks to pay for tu­ition. Kapoi grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of San Fran­cisco in 2011 and was proud of his Na­tive Hawai­ian and Filipino her­itage, Vu told news web­site Honolulu Civil Beat.

Jamie Hi­ranaka, pres­i­dent of the union rep­re­sent­ing the three work­ers, said they were all in­spec­tors who checked weld­ing and other work. The union said it’s try­ing to help em­ploy­ees get through the shoot­ing.

“Some were witnesses, oth­ers heard the gun­shots, oth­ers locked down into the clos­est build­ing they could find, but most were locked in their of­fices not knowing (what) was hap­pen­ing,” a union state­ment said. “Many emo­tions were felt yes­ter­day but most were of fear, ter­ror, sad­ness and grief.”


Se­cu­rity will be beefed up as usual Satur­day for the Pearl Har­bor cer­e­mony, days af­ter a triple shoot­ing at the base.

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