NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Navy has identified the man who opened fire on board USS Mahan Monday night, killing a Sailor.
Officials say Jeffery Savage, 35, of Portsmouth was the man responsible for the deadly shooting on USS Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk. He has a criminal past which includes a manslaughter charge.
The Sailor was identified as Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark A. Mayo, 24, of Hagerstown, MD. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 2007 and began working in Norfolk in May 2011.
“Petty Officer Mayo’s actions on Monday evening were nothing less than heroic. He selflessly gave his own life to ensure the safety of the Sailors on board USS Mahan (DDG 72),” said Capt. Robert E. Clark, Jr., commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk.
Capt. Robert Clark said the shooting happened on board USS Mahan at Pier 1 Monday around 11:20 p.m. when a male civilian shot and killed Mayo. Security forces responding to reports of shots fired then killed the suspect, who has not yet been identified.
Paul Stone with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Office said autopsies have been performed on MA2 Mayo and the civilian suspect. He told WAVY.com the results will likely take four to six weeks. The results will immediately be handed over to the NCIS, which is the lead investigating agency.
Stone said the autopsy was done at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Tuesday. Toxicology tests will also be performed.
Terri Davis with the U.S. Navy said the suspect approached the Quarterdeck of the ship and was confronted by security. At some point there was a struggle and the suspect disarmed the Petty Officer of the Watch. That weapon was used to kill Mayo, who was responding to help.
Beth Baker with Naval Station Norfolk told WAVY.com the suspect arrived at the base not long before 11:20 p.m. and that the sequence of events “happened very rapidly.” Clark said the suspect did have authorization to be on the base. Click here for more details on the credentials he had.
Mayo’s father talked with WAVY’s Anne McNamara by phone Tuesday and said his family is from the Maryland-Washington, D.C. area
Tuesday evening, Baker said NCIS completed their physical investigation at Pier 1 and turned the crime scene over to the Navy around 1 p.m. NCIS is still investigating, interviewing people and taking statements.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley has been appointed to lead the investigation. Harley currently serves as the president of the Board of Inspection and Survey based in Norfolk.
Mario Palomino, Special Agent in Charge NCIS, said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference the agency has ruled out terrorism as a motive. He said preliminary evidence does not indicate this was a pre-planned attack. Palomino provided a detailed timeline of Monday night’s deadly shootings.
- Monday, March 24, 11 p.m. – Non-DOD affiliated male civilian drove onto the base to the entry control point at Gate 5 at Naval Station Norfolk
- When the civilian arrived at Pier 1, he departed his 2002 Freightliner truck and gained access to the pier on foot
- The civilian proceeded toward USS Mahan, where he was confronted by security personnel on the ramp near the quarterdeck
- The civilian got into an altercation with the petty officer of the watch and disarmed the watchstander
- Petty Officer 2nd Class Mayo pushed the petty officer of the watch out of the line of fire, stepped over the watchstander and fired his weapon at the civilian
- MA2 Mayo was fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire before additional security forces were able to neutralize the civilian
“He jumped into the way – between the gunman and the petty officer of the watch. She fell to the ground. he covered her and he basically gave his life for hers,” said Clark.
- Several rounds of gunfire were exchanged between the civilian and security forces
- There is no motive for the civilian’s actions
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and shipmates of our sailor who was killed Monday night,” said Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. “I have directed a second investigation to be conducted in addition to the law enforcement investigation led by Naval Criminal Investigative Service.”
The Navy restricted airspace above Naval Station Norfolk Tuesday morning, however, Chopper 10 was able to stay outside the airspace and captured video of emergency crews at the destroyer as the sun came up.
The shooting and circumstances surrounding it remain under investigation at this time. Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.