FBI: Shooting at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi ‘terrorism related’


WASHINGTON — The shooting Thursday morning at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas was “terrorism related,” the FBI has concluded, and a second person of interest could be at large.

“We are working diligently with our state, local, and federal partners on this investigation, which is fluid and evolving,” said Leah Greeves, an agent for the Corpus Christi FBI, which is part of the agency’s Houston office.

Greeves also confirmed during a news conference that the shooting suspect was dead. However, in an earlier message posted on Twitter, the FBI said it would not release information about the suspect at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

“We may have a potential second related person of interest at large in the community. But we would encourage the public to remain calm. And if you see something, say something,” she said without providing additional details.

Reports of a lockdown and an active shooter at the base began at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday, the Navy said. Naval Security Forces responded, and one security force member, a female sailor, was injured, according to Steve Strickland, a spokesman with Navy Region Southeast. The sailor sustained minor injuries and she was treated and released from a local hospital.

An early morning post on the base’s Facebook page about the incident stated the shooter was in the vicinity of the north gate.

Local station Kiii 3 News posted a video of the shooting from a witness who appeared to be waiting in a line of cars near the gate. Multiple gun shots can be heard throughout the minute-long video.

The base lifted the lockdown at about 11:38 a.m. local time Thursday and normal traffic resumed at the main gate, according to a post on the base’s Facebook page. The north gate remains closed to all traffic and the scene is still being processed, Greeves said.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service and local law enforcement were also at the scene. However, the FBI is now the lead agency in the investigation.   

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi conducts pilot training, according to the base website. There are no international or foreign national students at the Texas base.

The base had a similar lockdown in December when a man rammed his truck into a barricade, according to The Associated Press. He has pleaded guilty to destruction of U.S. government property and possession of a stolen firearm.

This is the third active-shooter incident at a naval base in five months. On Dec. 4, a junior enlisted sailor, Gabriel Antonio Romero, 22, shot three civilians at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, killing two of them before killing himself.

Just days later on Dec. 6, a Saudi Air Force officer, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, shot and killed three sailors and injured eight others at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. On Monday, the FBI announced Alshamrani was in communication with al-Qaida prior to the attack based on data found on his cellphone.

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