- The Washington Times
Friday, May 22, 2020

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Friday said he is “very concerned” about the recent shooting at a Texas naval air station that wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead.

Early Thursday morning, a gunman attempted to speed past a security gate at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas. He proceeded to open fire and wound one sailor, The Associated Press reported.

The sailor, a member of base security, was able to position herself to activate a switch to raise the barrier and prevent the gunman from entering the base.

The FBI has since said they are investigating the incident as “terrorism-related.”

“We have determined that the incident this morning at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is terrorism-related,” FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Leah Greeves said during a news conference after the event. “We are working diligently with our state, local and federal partners on this investigation, which is fluid and evolving.”

In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show,” Mr. Esper said the Pentagon is taking “stringent steps” to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“The FBI is on the case now. We do know the basics of what happened with this person trying to enter the gate,” he said.

Mr. Esper explained he expects to have more details within the coming days including the motive behind the attack.

“At this time we understand there’s no [Defense Department] affiliation, if you will. But we need to let the facts come out, let the investigators do their job.”

He said the wounded sailor is “doing well” and has since been discharged from the hospital with minor injuries.

“We’re looking at additional measures we will take to ensure foreign-inspired terrorists do not have access to our posts, bases and installations and, of course, our country,” Mr. Esper said.

“We’ve learned from each of these, we have taken very quick steps and stringent steps to prevent these types of incidents.”

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