Sailor assigned to F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron shot and killed by base security

Robert Colton Wright (GoFundMe)

A sailor is dead after being shot by an on-duty master at arms at Naval Air Station Oceana Friday night.

Seaman Robert Colton Wright crashed his vehicle through the back gate to NAS Oceana, which was closed, locked and unmanned after normal operating hours, reports WTKR.

Wright was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81) at NAS Oceana. He worked as an information systems technician for the squadron, which flies F/A-18E Super Hornets, according to the unit’s Website.

Wright’s death occurred after a string of events that began with a hit-and-run about a mile from Oceana just before 10 p.m. Friday.

According to Virginia Beach police, they responded to the incident and were given a vehicle description by the victim. The police say no injuries were reported in that case and say officers canvassed the area and found damage at Oceana’s Gate 2 near London Bridge Road, at least a mile from the scene of the accident. The gate, which sits far off the main road, was closed and unmanned at the time, a Navy official has said.

Shorty after the hit-and-run, base security received a distress call from a Petty Officer on watch inside Hangar 111, which houses VFA-81, where Wright worked.

According to WTKR during the distress call, an individual was yelling and causing damage in squadron hallways.

When NAS Oceana security forces arrived on the scene they noticed Wright’s heavily damaged Dodge pickup truck was outside the security perimeter. When they began their search of the hangar, they encountered Wright who “refused to show his hands and made aggressive moves toward the MAs,” according to the Navy statement.

When Wright continued to act aggressively, the Masters at Arms (Navy law enforcement) fired a single shot that struck Wright, according to the report by WTKR.

He was transported to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital where he later died.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, Before entering the Navy, Wright, who was believed to be in his early 20s, was a volunteer firefighter with the Franktown Fire Protection District, about 35 miles southeast of Denver. Deputy Chief David Woodrick said he attended an open house there and wanted to get involved not because of the excitement of working in a firehouse but because he was motivated to “help people, be there, and make a positive difference.”

A criminal investigation is underway by NCIS and a Command Investigation is underway at the direction of Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

The Virginian-Pilot reportsGoFundMe account has been set up to pay for funeral expenses for Wright.

© 2017 Bright Mountain Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at, ticker BMTM.


  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

Post navigation