Two charged in shooting of Navy SEALs on Guam
January 3, 2004
Two men face preliminary hearings Monday in the Christmas Day shootings of two Navy SEALs on Guam.
Michael Sungho Robertson, 24, and Romano Jon Santos, 29, were charged Dec. 26 with two counts each of second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree aggravated assault.
Second-degree aggravated assault charges can be filed when a weapon is used during the commission of a felony.
Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday in the Superior Court of Guam courthouse in Hagatna.
The men originally were jailed in a Guam Department of Corrections facility on a $5,000 cash bail, court officials said Wednesday.
Officials were unable to determine Wednesday if the men had posted bail.
Navy officials say at least one Special Warfare Unit 1 sailor remains hospitalized due to a gunshot wound.
U.S. Naval Forces Marianas spokeswoman Lt. Thurraya Kent said Wednesday she couldn’t release the names of the SEALs — the acronym comes from Sea, Air and Land, the Navy’s Special Warfare units — involved in the shooting, but she confirmed one is hospitalized in San Diego.
The two sailors originally were taken to Naval Hospital Guam for treatment, she said.
Both were admitted, but one was transferred to a Navy hospital in San Diego for specialized treatment.
The second injured sailor was released from the hospital Saturday morning, she said.
Two other sailors involved in the shooting were not injured.
All four sailors are assigned to Special Warfare Unit 1 based in San Diego but deployed to Guam, Kent said.
The shooting occurred off base; both Guam police and Naval Criminal Investigative Services are investigating.
Police believe the shooting followed a heated argument between one of the sailors and the defendants at Bari Bari Restaurant, court officials said.
The sailors tried to leave the restaurant after learning the defendants had a gun.
The sailors were in a taxi leaving the area when a Toyota Camry pulled alongside and at least one of the defendants started firing at them, police said.
Police said they interviewed the taxi driver after the shooting and were told he saw one of the defendants aim a rifle at his car.
The driver told police at least one of his passengers was hit by a bullet and he drove the sailors to Naval Hospital Guam, officials said.
Court documents show one sailor was shot in the face and a second in the back of the neck.
Police say Robertson admitted to shooting at the taxi while Santos drove.
This wasn’t the first time a Pacific sailor was shot in 2003 during a night on the town.
On Oct. 26, Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric S. Heinze, 21, was shot in a Hiroshima, Japan, bar district. Heinze was walking with two other sailors when a motorist opened fire, hitting Heinze, Japanese police said.
Japanese national Tomoyuki Matsumoto, 37, confessed to the shooting, police said. He faces trial Jan. 9 on charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal drug.
Heinze recovered from the gunshot wound and has since returned to the United States.
Matsumoto allegedly told police he shot Heinze because he and his friends walked in front of Matsumoto’s car.
Police said Matsumoto is a former member of an organized crime group in Hiroshima.