VIRGINIA BEACH — Officials have identified the U.S. Navy sailor who was shot and killed Friday night by a Naval Air Station Oceana base security officer.
Seaman Robert Colton Wright, of Colorado, died at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital after being shot once by a Masters at Arms (MA) inside Strike Fighter Squadron 81’s hangar, according to a U.S. Navy news release.
Wright was an information systems technician who had been assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 81 since Dec. 27. He enlisted in the Navy on May 3, 2016, receiving the Navy Basic Military Honor Graduate Ribbon, which is given to top recruits after they complete basic training.
Virginia Beach police officers say that around 9:50 p.m. they responded to a hit-and-run near the base, which led them to NAS Oceana after they noticed damage to base gate two. No injuries were reported from the hit-and-run incident.
Officials believe Wright crashed his car through the gate around 10:10 p.m. It was closed, locked and unmanned, the release states.
About five minutes later, base security got a distress call from a petty officer who was on watch inside Hangar 111, home of Strike Fighter Squadron 81. The petty officer said a person was yelling and causing damage to the building’s hallways.
The MA reported finding Wright’s car outside the hangar’s security perimeter. During a search of the building, he found Wright who refused to show his hands and was acting aggressively. The MA fired one shot which hit Wright, according to the release.
U.S. Navy spokeswoman Jennifer Colaizzi said the MA shot Wright because he feared for his and others’ safety.
After the shooting, the MA began first aid and called for an ambulance.
The Navy is investigating the shooting via the Navy Criminal Investigative Service and Command Investigation.
Justin Belichis contributed to this story.
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