What Do We Do Now: After The JBPHH Shooting


(Image from NAVY.MIL)

Elaina Bolanes, Reporter

         Only three days before the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam was put under lockdown due to an active shooter. A 22 year old U.S. sailor, named Gabriel Antonio Romero shot 3 civilians and then himself with a service pistol.

     During the hour and a half of hiding, whether it was in a car, a house, or in a building, the fear of not knowing the situation outside was paralyzing.

     Kaya Wilkse (12) was inside the Hickam Memorial Theater. Ironically, at the time, Wilske was attending an active shooter training required for her job.

     “To be honest I was very scared.” Wilske said, “My mom was barely contacting me, and I came to learn that she had to shelter people because she works at the US. Missouri and if the bullets were to go that way they would’ve been shot at.”

     On and off base, people were left wondering how the situation was going to progress. Chloe Wenzell (12) was in an opposite position as Wilske. She was off base, preparing for a choir concert for later that day.

“I was concerned and worried but I knew my family was safe.” Wenzell said.  “I was just making sure everyone at the cathedral was okay.”

     Weeks after the shooting, we’re left to wonder. If this could happen on a military base, when and where will it happen next?

      It’s no longer a question of if it will happen again, and that is what should scare people. These shootings are becoming more common, and not just on the island. It’s getting worse back in the mainland as well, so what’s being done to prevent more?