Navy Sailor Kills 2 Female Colleagues Before Turning Gun on Himself: 'It's Tragic'
NCIS and Virginia police are investigating what led a Navy Corpsman to allegedly shoot two female sailors before turning the gun on himself Saturday night
A Navy sailor from Camp Lejeune allegedly shot and killed two female sailors at a Virginia gas station and convenience store late Saturday night before turning the gun on himself in what officials are calling a “tragic” double murder-suicide.
Hospitalman Shianne Soles, 19, of Veradale, Washington, and her friend, 23-year-old Hospitalman Meaghan Burns, of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, were found shot to death outside the 7-Eleven on Effingham St. in Portsmouth late Saturday night, PEOPLE confirms.
Both were active duty military.
“Meaghan was the innocent victim of senseless gun violence while trying to help a friend,” Burns’s obituary reads. “Meggy was a free spirit, a fierce and loyal friend and loving daughter and sister.”
Calling the shooting “a tragic incident,” Ed Gulick, a Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery spokesman, confirmed to PEOPLE that both women were stationed at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, about a mile from where they were killed.
The shooting took place at about 11:22 p.m. on Saturday, when the two women were shot in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven at the corner of Effingham and Lincoln streets, Portsmouth Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Misty Holley says in a media release sent to PEOPLE.
They were both shot in the torso and pronounced dead at the scene.
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“When officers arrived, they found two adult females suffering from injuries to their torsos,” Portsmouth Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Misty Holley said in the release.
The women were gunned down in the parking lot between the store and its gas pumps.
Police found a man inside a vehicle dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his upper body in the parking lot of the Dollar General next door, according to the release.
The man was identified as 22-year-old Donavon Moora of New York, a Hospital Apprentice, according to Gulick and Holley.
Moora enlisted on Nov. 29, 2017, and was assigned to Field Medical Training Battalion East in Camp Lejeune, according to Gulick.
The motive of the triple shooting and the circumstances surrounding it are unknown at this point.
“Mental health professionals and chaplains are at each location to assist anyone dealing with the grief and difficult nature of this tragedy,” Gulick wrote in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and shipmates during this difficult time.”
Born in Springfield, Burns moved with her family to South Deerfield in 2004, her obituary says.
She enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Sept. 15, 2015, and had served as a hospital corpsman in Naples, Italy, before serving in Portsmouth.
“She was a proud sailor and was planning to further her career in healthcare at the end of her enlistment,” the obituary says.
Soles’ family said in a statement to The Virginian Pilot that she joined the Navy to help make the world a better place. She enlisted on July 18, 2018, according to Gulick.
She was described as a “bright light” who was always ready to help others, The Pilot reports.
“There are no words that can describe the pain we feel or the pain that we see within our support group around us,” Soles’ family wrote.
The Portsmouth police department is investigating the incident with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Holley tells PEOPLE.
The department is also investigating the death of a fourth active duty military member who was killed Sunday night.
On Tuesday, Navy Police turned over Dalen Spence, 21, of Portsmouth, to Portsmouth Police, for the alleged shooting death of Donald Thorington, 23, of Michigan, Holley wrote in a release sent to PEOPLE. Spence is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony for allegedly killing Thorington Sunday night at about 9:30 p.m., Holley says.
It is unclear whether Spence has retained a lawyer who can speak on his behalf. He has not yet entered a plea.