NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The civilian truck driver who killed a sailor aboard a destroyer at the world’s largest naval base was a Virginia man who records show was a convicted felon, a Navy official said Thursday.
The official, who was familiar with the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said the shooter was Jeffrey Tyrone Savage. Records show he has previously been convicted of voluntary manslaughter and crack cocaine possession.
Savage was killed by Navy security forces on Monday night aboard the USS Mahan after he disarmed the ship’s petty officer of the watch and used her gun to shoot Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo. Mayo was providing security at Naval Station Norfolk.
Navy officials have previously said there’s no indication the attack was planned or had any link to terrorism. Navy investigators have also said there’s no indication Savage had a previous relationship with the ship or anyone on it.
Officials are still searching for answers about why the Chesapeake resident drove his tractor-trailer cab onto base, walked onto a pier and up a ramp toward the ship before being confronted by security. A hospital ship was also docked at the same pier. The Navy has said the civilian shouldn’t have been on the installation — the world’s largest — the night of the shooting, and investigators are reviewing why he was allowed.
North Carolina records show Savage was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2008 in Mecklenburg County.
Savage and the victim were riding in a vehicle when they began to struggle over a weapon and the weapon went off, shooting the victim, who was then left on the side of the road, according to Keith Acree with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Savage was also sentenced in Virginia in 1998 for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and served nearly five years in federal prison before transferring to a halfway house and home confinement in the Raleigh, N.C., area, according to Chris Burke, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Savage also spent two years in federal prison beginning in 2010 after his supervision was revoked and was transferred to a halfway house in February 2012, Burke said.
Also on Thursday, military officials said autopsies had been performed on Mayo and Savage at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
Autopsy results will include a toxicology report that would indicate whether there were any drugs or alcohol involved, Stone said.
It could be weeks before autopsy results are provided to investigators.
Brock Vergakis can be reached at www.twitter.com/BrockVergakis