New Delhi, Dec 05, 2019: Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria was attending a Pacific Air Chiefs’ conference at the joint base of Pearl Harbor-Hickam near Hawaii in the US on Wednesday when it was put under lockdown after a shooting incident at the nearby naval base of Pearl Harbor as to Hindustan Times.
Two victims have died after the shooting at the historic military base, reports said. A third victim is in stable condition after being hospitalised while the shooter, a US navy sailor, also died from “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound”, they added.
“The Chief of Air Staff and the team are safe,” Group Captain Anupam Banerjee, a spokesperson of the Indian Air Force (IAF), said.
The air chiefs from 20 Pacific Ocean Littoral countries are attending the conference.
A spokesperson for the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam confirmed that a shooting had taken place but declined to give any further details.
“The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Due to the ongoing security incident, access/gates to #JBPHH are closed,” the base said on Twitter.
“The incident was at the nearby naval base, however, security was increased as a precautionary measure for some time,” a senior IAF official who did not want to be named said.
One witness told local media he was sitting at his computer when he heard shots fired and rushed to the window, where he saw three victims on the ground.
The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he then saw the gunman, who was wearing a sailor’s uniform, shoot himself in the head.
The shooting took place near the south entrance of the sprawling base located on the southern shore of Oahu.
The Pacific Air Chiefs’ Conference is a platform for air chiefs from across the Indo-Pacific region to discuss “common challenges faced” and “mutual interests.” Issues like regional security, domain awareness, multi-domain awareness, interoperability and HADR are also part of the Pacific Air Chiefs’ Conference.
“The conference is intended to further strengthen the existing cooperation between the Air Forces of the participating countries and also to pave the way for enhanced interaction in the future,” the IAF had earlier said in a statement about the conference.