Local military community reacts to Navy shooting

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The loss of a Norfolk Sailor in Monday night’s shooting at Naval Station Norfolk could be felt along Hampton Boulevard Tuesday.

The corridor, which lines Naval Station Norfolk, houses businesses that cater primarily to military customers.

“Ninety percent of our customers are military,” said Grover Vines, who owns Custom Kutz barber shop. “When one falls, we feel real sad about that.”

The deadly double shooting was the talk of the shop Tuesday. Televisions showed images of flashing lights near the scene on the USS Mahan, docked at the base. The Navy says a civilian with security clearance confronted security personnel at the Mahan’s quarterdeck, took the weapon from the petty officer on watch, and used it to kill a Sailor responding to the scene.

“Our hearts go out to this sailor’s family,” said Byron Shambley, who retired from the Navy and works at Custom Kutz. “We’re going to stick together and take care of family because that’s what we do.”

Shambley says some customers were in shock, some still dealing with grief.

“We just let them be to themselves, give them a good haircut and let them relax,” he said. “They can come and get a service and not really talk about it too much, if they don’t want to, because it’s a tragic event that’s occurred.”

And the barbers know what the customers are dealing with because they are retired Navy personnel, themselves.

“Being a retired SH1, I felt kind of bad because I knew something went terribly wrong, for a civilian to come on board a navy vessel,” Vines said.

Off camera, Sailors expressed sadness and condolences for the victim’s family.

Counselors from Navy Fleet and Family Service Center and Navy chaplains are on hand to assist personnel who witnessed the shooting.

Navy security shot and killed the civilian suspect. The Navy has not released the identity of the deceased.

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