SAN ANTONIO – The family of a sailor who fatally shot two people before killing himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard earlier this month released a statement Monday following his burial in San Antonio.
The family of Gabriel Romero, 22, said they were shocked by the incident and that the shooting "was completely out of character" for those who knew him.
"Since Gabriel no longer has a voice, we wish to speak on his behalf," according to the statement, released through a local attorney.
It was not known if Romero knew his victims, Roldan Agustin, 49, and Vincent Kapoi Jr., 30. Romero also wounded a 36-year-old man, who is in stable condition. The sailor used his two service weapons in the attack, a military official said.
Romero was unhappy with his commanders and had been undergoing counseling. He also faced non-judicial punishment, which is a lower-level administrative process for minor misconduct.
Romero's family offered condolences to the victim's families and said they "suffered a sudden and horrific loss as well ... This event shocked us all, and for those who knew him, was completely out of character."
The statement described Romero as a "fun-loving, active and happy child" who loved his family and sports, especially hockey.
A former teammate of Romero, who reached out to the family, said: "What happened ... is so far off from the Gabe I knew," according to the statement. "People looked up to him. He walked softly and carried a big (hockey) stick."
Romero enlisted in the Navy two years ago, a decision his family said was "difficult" for them but a decision they "trusted."
"We knew how great a sailor he would be because he was a natural leader, selfless and meticulous," the statement said. "Our hope is that this glimpse of Gabriel, brief as it may be, will inform you of how shocked and shaken we all are by this catastrophic act. We would appreciate privacy at this time so we may grieve and try to heal."
Military officials said that they had not found a motive yet for the shooting, but that there's no evidence of domestic terrorism. They said the isolated attack, witnessed by shipyard employees in an area with thousands of workers, unfolded in about 23 seconds.
Romero was buried Monday in a private ceremony. They released the statement through San Antonio attorney Phil Meyer.
You can read the entire statement below.