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US Navy identifies sailor who killed 2 civilians at Hawaii base

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) departs Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard after completing an engineering overhaul to prolong the life of the submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Amanda R. Gray/Released)
December 06, 2019

The U.S. Navy has identified the sailor who opened fire at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Wednesday, as well as the two Department of Defense civilians he killed before committing suicide.

“The Navy Sailor was identified as Machinist’s Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of Texas, assigned to USS Columbia (SSN 771),” Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam confirmed Friday afternoon.

“The submarine, homeported in in Pearl Harbor, remains in dry-dock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for routine maintenance,” the base added.

The two civilians were identified as “Vincent J. Kapoi of Hawaii, Metals Inspector Apprentice” and “Roldan A. Agustin of Hawaii, Shop Planner (Nondestructive Testing)” both assigned to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

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Agustin, 49, was a Phillippines native, a Navy veteran and also retired from the Army National Guard, the Associated Press reported.

“We will forever remember Roldan to be humble and honest, and a generous and patient man,” a statement from his family said.

Kapoi, 30, was a Hawaii native who followed in his father’s footsteps to work as a civilian at the naval yard.

Kapoi’s family described him as an “easy-going, fun-loving, ‘let’s do this’ man” and friends described him as “really good” and a “family guy.”

An unidentified 36-year-old civilian worker was also injured in the attack. He is currently hospitalized but in stable condition.

Romero, 22, was said to be dissatisfied with his leadership, was undergoing counseling, and had a history of non-judicial punishment.

He used his service pistol and rifle in the attack, which he was authorized to carry while providing security for the Columbia.

Romeo killed himself before police arrived on scene.

The base will be expanding security efforts as typical for their annual Pearl Harbor anniversary events – this year memorializes the 78th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack that killed 2,300 Americans.