Navy: No evidence of shooting on barge in Virginia shipyard

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — Navy investigators in Virginia found no evidence of a shooting on a barge next to one of its ships after reports of an active shooter, Navy officials said Thursday.

Officials received a report about 11:45 a.m. of an active shooter aboard a barge next to the USS Carter Hall, which is undergoing maintenance in a shipyard near the Atlantic Coast, Navy spokesman James DeAngio said in a statement.

DeAngio said security forces swept the barge and the ship but “found no evidence of a shooting, no victims, no weapons, no peril.”

Ed Buice, a spokesman for the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, said in an email that “from all indications it’s a false call.”

He added that “beyond the initial anonymous report, nothing has been found.”

The USS Carter Hall is a 600-foot-long dock landing ship. It can transport and launch amphibious craft and personnel during military assault operations and humanitarian missions.

The ship is undergoing maintenance at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. shipyard, which is on the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

Local police also responded and helped search the area.

Tyree Jones, 60, said he was delivering milk to the pier where the USS Carter Hall is docked when he heard an announcement over a loudspeaker stating there was a shooter. He said he also heard two or three gunshots, “pap-pap-pap.”

Jones said the sailor receiving the milk asked him, “Did you hear that?” Jones said he responded, “Yeah, I hear that. There’s somebody shooting.”

Jones said he saw sailors with their guns drawn and then saw local police arrive with their guns drawn. They told him to leave the pier.

He waited several hours before driving off in his milk truck.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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