Romero, a submariner, was officially identified by the military Friday. He was on-duty at the time of the shooting and was assigned to stand watch on his submarine, officials said during press conference. Prior to the shooting, he faced disciplinary problems at work, according to Hawaii News Now. He was also enrolled in anger management courses.
Romero was an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to the USS Columbia, a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine. He used his service weapon to commit the shooting, firing shots at three civilians, killing two and injuring a third.
The shipyard was on lockdown for nearly two hours on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, starting about 2:15 p.m. local time. The access gates were closed. The lockdown was lifted about 4:10 p.m. The shooting occurred near Drydock 2, one of the four shipyards on the base. The base is located about 8 miles from Honolulu. All three of the victims were male shipyard workers.
The military was offering support to the families of the victims while the U.S. Navy led the investigation, according to Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii. One of the victims has been identified as 30-year-old Vincent Kapoi Jr., family members and friends say. The second victim was identified by family members as Roldan Agustin.
Romero was an active duty member of the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to the USS Columbia, a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine.
Text alerts and a PA system alerted base personnel to the shooting and warned them to take cover. The situation was still “unfolding,” nearly one hour after the incident began. About 3:30 p.m. local time, officials said that the suspect, later identified as Gabriel Romero, had been “secured.” A shipyard worker told Honolulu Civil Beat that he heard emergency sirens go off about 2 p.m., but did not receive a DOD text alert until about an hour later.
The shooting at Pearl Harbor occurred just three days before the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that prompted the United States to join World War II. Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A total of 1,177 crew members were killed on the U.S. Arizona. The attack prompted the United States to declare war on Japan. Shortly afterward, the U.S. declared war on Germany. The shooting occurred about a mile from the site of the national memorial.
Few details about Romero have been released so far. As of Friday, officials have declined to release basic information about Romero, including his photo and hometown.