Naval Station Norfolk Shooting Suspect Had Valid TWIC

File photo of USS Mahan courtesy US Navy
File photo of USS Mahan courtesy US Navy

The suspect identified today by the U.S. Navy as the civilian shooter in Monday night’s killing of a Navy sailor at Naval Station Norfolk had a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), but investigators are still looking into how the man was able to gain access the base.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has identified Jeffrey Tyrone Savage as the civilian truck driver who killed Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo Monday night onboard a Navy ship at Naval Station Norfolk.

According to the U.S. Navy, Savage, 35, from Portsmouth, Virginia, drove his 2002 Freightliner through Gate 5 just after 11 p.m., proceeded to Pier 1, left his truck and attempted to board USS Mahan (DDG 72) when he was confronted by ship security personnel. Following a struggle, Savage was able to disarm the petty officer of the watch.

Meanwhile Mayo, who was serving as chief of the guard at Naval Station Norfolk and was in the vicinity of the Mahan, came to the aid of the security personnel and engaged in gunfire with Savage, who used the weapon to fatally shoot Mayo, the Navy said. Savage was later killed in a gun fight with additional security.

The Navy identified Savage an employee of Majette Trucking who had a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). However, the Navy noted that a TWIC alone does not authorize base access, rather it must be used in conjunction with other documents to gain authorized entry.

The NCIS investigation has confirmed that Savage had no reason or authorization to be on Naval Station Norfolk and that the chain of events that allowed Savage entry to the installation and the ship are under investigation.

Implemented in 2009, the TWIC card is required for Coast Guard-credentialed merchant mariners, port facility employees, long shore workers, truck drivers, and others requiring unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. The program has been plagued with issues since it’s inception, leaving many critics questioning it’s overall effectiveness.