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Three Navy corpsmen slain in suspected double murder-suicide, Virginia police say

By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — Three junior enlisted sailors died of gunshot wounds late Saturday near a Navy hospital in Portsmouth, Va., in an incident police have described as an apparent double murder-suicide.

Portsmouth police on Monday said two female sailors were shot fatally about 11:30 p.m. outside a 7-Eleven convenience store on Effingham Street, about half a mile from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, where they both worked as hospital corpsmen. A third sailor, also a hospital corpsman, was discovered dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby vehicle, according to police.

Investigators believe Donavon Moora, 22, an E-2 hospitalman apprentice from New York, shot to death Shianne Soles, 19, of Veradale, Wash., and Meaghan Burns, 23, of Massachusetts, before fatally shooting himself in the chest in the car. Sole and Burns were E-3 hospitalmen.

Navy officials released basic personnel files about the three sailors Tuesday, but those records did not indicate whether the three had served together previously. While Soles and Burns were assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Moora was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with the Navy’s Field Medical Training Battalion East.

Moora joined the Navy in November 2017, according to the records. Soles enlisted in July, and Burns enlisted in September 2015.

Law enforcement investigations into the incident were continuing Tuesday, said Ed Gulick, a spokesman for the Navy’s Medicine and Surgery Bureau. He said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was aiding the Portsmouth Police Department with the probe.

Portsmouth police officials did not immediately respond to a message Tuesday seeking further information about the investigation.

Gulick said the Navy had made mental health professionals and chaplains available to sailors impacted by the deaths at the Navy hospital in Portsmouth and Camp Lejeune.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and shipmates during this difficult time,” he said.

Information from the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot was used in this report.
dickstein.corey@stripes.com
Twitter: @CDicksteinDC

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