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Navy identifies sailor killed by base security officers while fleeing traffic stop

Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 2 Sailors stand at attention during a change of command ceremony where Capt. Robert Klaszky relieved Capt. Ty Britt as commanding officer on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. (Chief Petty Officer Karen Rybarczyk/U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy has identified a sailor who was shot and killed late Friday night after fleeing a traffic stop on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek as Petty Officer 3rd Class Juan Gerardo Medina-Reynaga.

Medina-Reynaga, 25, worked as aviation boatswain’s mate who handled fuel aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, according to Navy records.

Medina-Reynaga is from Kansas and enlisted in 2015. He worked on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise for two years before being assigned to the Bush in February 2017.

Security footage shows him entering gate five around 7:40 p.m. Friday in a 2016 silver Dodge Charger, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Beth Baker said. She couldn’t say where he went after he entered the gate.

She’s not sure where he lived, but it wasn’t on base.

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“I don’t know why he was there,” she said Monday.

The incident started hours later, around 9:50 p.m., when officers responded to a call about erratic driving.

Security officers tried to stop the vehicle, but it sped away toward gate five at the intersection of Shore Drive and Independence Boulevard. Personnel activated gate security barriers and the sailor changed directions.

He lost control of the car — which reached speeds up to 60 miles per hour during the chase — and hit a gas pump at the Navy Exchange Mini Mart around 10:10 p.m, Baker said.

He got out of the car on the passenger’s side because the driver’s side was crushed, Baker said. He fled on foot, assaulted two officers and reached for one of their weapons, which led the officer to shoot, Baker said.

Baker couldn’t say what type of weapon the officer used to shoot Medina-Reynaga, but said they tried to give him first aid at the scene.

He was declared dead at 10:50 p.m.

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Two Navy security personnel were also treated for minor injuries, the Navy said.

The officer who shot him has been placed on administrative duty for the time being, Baker said. She did not know if alcohol or drugs was a factor or where exactly the sailor had been shot.

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© 2019 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.