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After man with pellet gun shoots it at SEALs and trainees, Navy to re-evaluate training protocols

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, prepares to shoot a cracker round into the sky at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Naval Special Warfare Command says it will evaluate its training procedures after a group of Navy SEALs and trainees were shot at by a man with a pellet gun late Monday evening.

Around 10:30 p.m., Navy SEAL instructors and trainees were conducting a nighttime qualification dive when Scott Douglass Weaver, 47, confronted them near the Halsey Road bridge at Liberty Station, authorities said.

At one point, the man began firing a pellet gun at the divers. A Navy spokesman said that’s when the SEALs called the police.

San Diego Police arrested Weaver for assault with a deadly weapon, threats, brandishing a replica firearm and obstruction, a police spokesman said.

The Navy said no military personnel were injured.

Police did not say whether Weaver had a motive for targeting the SEALs or if he was even aware of who he was firing upon.

“That will be determined after the investigation is completed,” San Diego Police Officer Billy Hernandez said in an email.

Navy SEALs are a clandestine special-warfare component of the Navy. As such, much of what they do — including training — is treated as sensitive information.

“We don’t want to highlight our training,” said Lt. Trevor Davids, public information officer at Naval Special Warfare Training Center. “(But) we do train in San Diego Bay.”

The notoriously arduous SEAL training school — Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) — is located at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Prospective SEALs train in the Silver Strand surf as well as other locations in and around the bay.

Davids said the Navy takes the safety of its students and the public into consideration when planning its training.

“We recognize we are training in a densely-populated area,” Davids said, “We have procedures in place to protect our students.”

Davids said the Navy will examine the incident in an “after-action” report, and that it could affect how future training is conducted.

“It’s something we (will) plan for and evaluate for the safety of our students and the public,” he said.


© 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.