Sailor found dead after report of gunshots at Navy facility in Va.

By BROCK VERGAKIS | The Associated Press | Published: April 8, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Navy is investigating the death of a sailor who was found dead Tuesday morning in a barracks after failing to report to work.

The sailor was found in a barracks room at Naval Support Activity Portsmouth Annex, which is home to the nation's first medical hospital, the Navy said in a news release. The Navy also said emergency personnel responded to a report of gunshots in the morning, although it wasn't immediately clear whether the two were related.

The grounds to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth were locked down for about 15 minutes, the Navy said. Jim Moir, a spokesman for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said the barracks on the installation are separate from the naval hospital. He said the medical center was locked down as a precaution. Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, surgeon general of the Navy, was scheduled to be at the hospital as part of a change of command ceremony that had previously been scheduled.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the unidentified sailor's cause of death.

Moir said the sailor's identity would be released 24 hours after next of kin have been notified. Moir said he did not have details about the sailor's gender or rank.

The death comes a day after the Navy held a memorial service at nearby Naval Station Norfolk for a sailor who was shot and killed aboard a destroyer. Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo was a master-at-arms who provided security at the installation and was shot by a civilian truck driver who had managed to disarm another sailor aboard the USS Mahan.

Servicemembers stand in formation during an awards ceremony at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., on June 10, 2010.


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