One crew member has been shot dead and another seriously injured aboard HMS Astute whilst berthed in Southampton. The shooter, a Royal Navy serviceman, was then overpowered by people on board the submarine, including crew members and one local councillor who was touring the submarine, it is thought.
The police were called to the ocean liner dock just after 12 o’clock. Local residents and nearby office workers heard the shot being fired.
The area has now been sealed off and police are interviewing 30 possible witnesses. A police spokesperson said there is no risk to public safety and the incident was not linked to terrorism. The police are now expected to carry out a full investigation after the suspect was handed over to them from the Ministry of Defence police.
HMS Astute has been berthed in Southampton Docks since Wednesday, and was expected to leave on Sunday after being visited by local school children. One party of school children were quayside when the shooting happened.
It is thought that the incident happened in the control room of the submarine and the two victims were naval officers. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said there was no breach of naval security so it is thought the gun used was a naval gun, already aboard the vessel. It is not unusual for such vessels to carry firearms, although these are usually stored separately to ammunition.
HMS Astute was made famous last year after running aground on a shingle bank near the Isle of Skye. It is the newest nuclear powered submarine in the Royal Navy fleet.