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2 sailors in custody after pellet-gun firing prompts Navy base lockdown

SAN DIEGO — Two sailors are in custody after at least one shot an Airsoft pistol from a barracks window into a nearby parking structure Thursday morning, the Navy said.

Naval Base Point Loma issued a “shelter in place” order after a call to Navy police at about 10 a.m., the Navy said in a news release. The initial report was of a suspicious person with a handgun.

Someone on the ground saw a sailor brandishing a weapon from the sixth floor of a barracks, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ruh, a base spokesman, told The Associated Press.

Airsoft pistols shoot pellets, but "when you're looking up six floors, they resemble the real thing," Ruh said.

The call triggered an investigation by base security forces, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, FBI SWAT and local police, which the Navy said is the standard response to a potential active shooter.

The sailor shooting the Airsoft pistol was aiming at a mirror on the wall of a parking structure near their barracks, according to the Navy.

NCIS agents and the sailors’ command master chief called the sailors on a cell phone and gave them “explicit directions” on how to “safely exit their barracks room,” the Navy said.

Capt. Scott Adams, commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma, said he didn't know the rank or history of the men, or whether they exhibited warning signs. The sailors lived in the barracks that houses junior enlisted servicemen, he said.

Thursday's incident was less than a month after a shooting rampage by a soldier at Fort Hood in Texas killed three people and wounded 16 others.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

news@stripes.com

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