Shooter killed near Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi in 'terrorism-related' incident, officials say

by 24USATVMay 22, 2020, 12:40 a.m. 20
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An armed person who wounded a sailor at a U.S. Navy air base in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday was killed by security officers, officials said.

The Associated Press reported that the shooter tried to speed through a gate at the base in a vehicle, but security personnel put up a barrier in time to stop the shooting, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing investigation. The man then got out of the car and opened fire, striking and wounding a Navy sailor who is a member of the security force at the base. During the exchange of gunfire, the shooter was killed by security personnel, the officials said.

FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Leah Greeves said at a news conference that the incident was "terrorism-related" and confirmed the alleged shooter is deceased.

Greeves said a second potential suspect is at large. She did not elaborate on a potential motive or specify what led investigators to believe the shooting is related to terrorism.

The FBI in Houston said it will lead the investigation. Neither investigators nor the Navy provided details on the shooter or a possible motive.

Security forces at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi responded to the incident at 6:15 a.m. local time, according to a post on their Facebook page.

A female security force member was injured and taken to a hospital, Steve Strickland, a spokesman with Navy Region Southeast, told military newspaper Stars and Stripes. Strickland told the outlet the sailor is in good condition and expected to be released Thursday.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi sent a message to students saying the situation at the base was resolved and there was no threat to the Island Campus.

The base has been home to naval pilot training since 1941, according to its website. The base went into lockdown, advising those in or near the north gate to get to safety and remain indoors and away from windows, officials said.

Representatives of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Texas Department of Public Safety were on scene, along with Corpus Christi police.

A Corpus Christi police SWAT trailer was seen entering the base around 9:50 a.m.

Officials lifted the lockdown at 11:38 a.m. local time.

Four unrelated security incidents occurred at the base in 2019.

In early February, Daniel E. King, 37, was fatally shot after he was accused of stealing a vehicle and entering the base through the south gate, before crashing into a barrier at the north gate.

Later that month, the main gate was blocked for nearly two hours after a wanted vehicle was stopped by security after a military working dog alerted to the truck. There was a "be on the lookout" warning on the truck, and the driver was detained.

On Oct. 8, Brian Dale Robinson, 47, was charged with destruction of government property and possession of a stolen firearm after he was accused of ramming a stolen truck into the barricade of the base's north gate.

In late October, base officials shared details of projects intended to enhance security, including new perimeter security fencing, turnstiles, vehicle sliding gates, surveillance systems with cameras and access controls, and miscellaneous sidewalk, driveway and landscaping improvements.

On Dec. 11, verbal threats from a Corpus Christi Army Depot employee prompted a lockdown, but no shots were fired and there were no injuries reported, according to a Facebook post.

Security apprehended the suspect for questioning without injury, and the gates were reopened to normal traffic. Initial reports said the suspect was armed, but Public Affairs Officer Francoise “Fifi” Kieschnick confirmed the suspect was not armed when detained.

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