Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm your huckleberry.

Another glorious passage in the annals of submarine history: What do you get when you put together a LTjg submariner, a small caliber weapon, and a dark and not-so-stormy night on Guam? A baffling mystery, I guess -- or more likely one stupid LTjg:

The shooting, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, prompted a five-hour lock-down of the entire Navy installation on Guam in a search for the intruder. Naval Security Forces and the Guam Police Department thoroughly searched the vicinity and Marine Corps Drive for hours Sunday night and Monday morning.

The officer, who was doing rounds on Polaris Point at the time of the shooting, had told investigators that he'd been shot at and then had fired back, but that the suspect fled the scene.

"After an extensive search, investigators have thus far ruled out the possibility of an intruder as the cause of the gunshot wound," read a press release issued yesterday by the Navy.

Even more problematic for investigators is the fact that the bullet has yet to be retrieved. Oh, they know precisely where it is, but it seems that...
Investigators believed the officer to have been shot by the small-caliber gun -- which was not issued by the Navy -- because they found the casings of a small-caliber bullet at the scene of the shooting, Chisholm said. However, the bullet is still lodged in the officer's bone, she said, and will not be removed from his shoulder because it would cause too much damage to his health.
OUCH. The stupid shall indeed be punished! (particularly the case if he shot himself). And did you notice from the story that he had a Navy-issue weapon as well!
The officer fired his Navy-issued 9 mm gun as well, supposedly to shoot back at the alleged shooter, but that bullet became lodged in the gun's chamber, she said.
My question, however, is how do you shoot yourself in the left shoulder? And wouldn't there be powder burns, etc. that would make this obvious?

Somebody unravel this one for me! Thanks.


At 7:43 AM, Blogger bothenook said...

when we were in bangor in the early 90's for weapons trials, the navy housing unit was still pretty new. the area on the trident base at bangor is spectacular. deep forests, open glades, the homes nestled in amongst the trees. it's really quite beautiful. it's also full of deer. and it's also full of the marine counter terrorist squad gaurding weapons.
i guess late one night a young J.O. had seen enough deer that his common sense blocking unit went into override. he took a crossbow out into the woods behind his house, heard a rustling in the brush, and took a shot. error 1: take a cross bow into the woods on a weapons base. error 2: did not verify target prior to shooting. error 3: the unverified target was a marine security patrol, of which the shootee stood up with a 12 gauge shotgun, and relieve the J.O. of any further duties. the marine detachment would have strung said young j.o. up on the fence by the gates as a lesson if the base c.o. would have let them.
as far as i know, nobody has tried to go hunting on bangor since.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Vigilis said...

Small caliber here is described relative to govmt issue 9mm (~.355). Until recovery of the shoulder slug proves otherwise, it could be a .17 pellet, too (no powder burn and causes minimal, self-inflicted damage). With .22 - .25, risk of serious bodily damage goes up from a low, but risky starting point of 25%.

To leave no powder burn, an ordinary 38 caliber must be fired from at least 3-feet according to the FBI lab. WillyShake, do navy regulations allow the CO to permit a competition pellet gun marksman to keep one on board? We do not know the victim's name, just speculating on another possibility. Motive will be key to this contrived incident, which pales by comparison to missing powder burns in "The Untimely Death of Lieutenant Commander William B. Pitzer" on 29th October 1966.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger jeff said...

Looks like they found the "shooting" gun... and it belongs to the target.

Now if this had happened at home base, I'd say it was a spouse trying to collect SGLI... but overseas?

Maybe a bunkmate thought it was a bb gun and decided to have some fun?


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