Friday, June 6, 2014

U.S. Navy hospital in Portsmouth being evacuated after stabbing

Virginia naval hospital set to evacuate amid search for stabbing suspect
By Mary Kay Mallonee, Barbara Starr and Greg Botelho
updated 4:03 PM EDT, Fri June 6, 2014


NEW: Naval Medical Center is "hoping to begin evacuating soon"
Security forces searching for suspect in stabbing of service member, official says
Navy identifies suspect as Petty Officer 3rd Class Wilbur Harwell, 26

(CNN) -- Authorities prepared to evacuate a major U.S. Navy hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, on Friday afternoon, hours after sounding an alert that they were searching for an enlisted man suspected of stabbing a fellow service member.

There was no word Friday afternoon that security forces had the suspect -- identified by Navy spokesman Jim Moir as Petty Officer 3rd Class Wilbur Harwell -- in custody or that they knew where he might be. WIth the manhunt still on, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth did signal around 3 p.m. on its Facebook page what its next step will be, stating: "We are hoping to begin evacuating soon, patients followed by staff. The evacuation will be done in an orderly manner as directed."

There was no immediate indication as to where these patients might go.

Hours earlier, the hospital and its accompanying base were placed on lockdown as authorities looked for the 26-year-old Harwell.

According to Moir, the stabbing took place Friday morning in front of the private military store, or exchange, at the base, which is called Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Portsmouth Annex.
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