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Female sailor, 19, dies after being found shot aboard ship, Navy says

The USS Essex, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, arrives in Hong Kong harbor for a scheduled port visit in November 2010.
The USS Essex, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, arrives in Hong Kong harbor for a scheduled port visit in November 2010.Tyrone Siu / Reuters file

A 19-year-old female sailor assigned to USS Essex was found with a gunshot wound aboard the ship Thursday and later died from her injuries, Navy officials confirmed.

According to Navy media operations officer Rick Chernitzer, the ship’s medical personnel responded to the scene and found the wounded sailor.

She was transported to the UCSD Trauma Center and was pronounced dead a short time later.

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Chernitzer said the sailor’s identification is being withheld until her family is notified of her death.

He said a formal investigation is now under way aboard the amphibious assault ship, which is currently at its homeport in San Diego.

Initially, it was unclear if the sailor’s wounds were self-inflicted or if any suspects were involved in the shooting. On Friday, officials said preliminary investigations suggest the sailor died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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