A sailor aboard the USS George Washington in Virginia fatally shot himself last week — the third sailor assigned to the ship to take their own life this month, and the 7th this year, according to reports.
Master-at-Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Mitchell-Sandor died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 15, Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner Office confirmed, the United States Navy Institute News reported.
Officials from the Naval Criminal Investigation Service would not confirm whether Mitchell-Sandor was on duty at the time or if he had used a service weapon. No other details were released about the incident as the investigation continues.
“NCIS is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of MASR Xavier Mitchell-Sandor, as we do in response to all non-combat, medically unattended fatalities of Department of the Navy service members,” spokesman Jeff Houston told USNI News in a statement.
According to the Navy, Mitchell-Sandor was found unresponsive on board the ship. He was transported to the Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, where he was pronounced dead.
Mitchell-Sandor, who had reportedly enlisted in August, was the third soldier assigned to the ship to commit suicide in the span of week.
Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class Mika’il Sharp took his own life on April 9, followed by Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Natasha Huffman on April 10, according to USNI News.
A fourth sailor died by suicide in December, the outlet reported. Seven total sailors assigned to the USS George Washington have died in the last 12 months.
“We can confirm seven total deaths of service members assigned to USS George Washington over the past 12 months — 4 in 2021, and 3 in 2022,” Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Robert Myers told USNI News in a statement.
“The circumstances surrounding these incidents vary and it is premature to make assumptions, as some incidents remain under investigation.”
The carrier is docked at Newport News Shipbuilding for maintenance, in the final phase of a five-year tune-up.