Stabbing at Virginia Naval facility

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- The search is on for a man who stabbed a servicemember outside the navy exchange on the grounds of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. The NEX is located in a separate building outside of the hospital.

Authorities identified the suspect as 26-year-old Wilbur Harwell, an active duty third class petty officer (E4) and they say he knows the victim.

"We're doing a systematic, room by room, building by building search," said Capt. Michael "Jake" Johansson.

The victim was in surgery with critical injuries and has not been identified.

The campus remains on lockdown following the stabbing, which occurred around 8:30 a.m. The installation has been closed to all incoming and outgoing traffic and personnel are being ordered to shelter in place, Jim Moir, spokesman for Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads told

Two schools are on lockdown as a precaution. Parkview Elementary School is on partial lockdown, meaning no one can go in or out of the school and students must stay in their classroom. They are not changing classrooms. Police are stationed outside the school, said Det. Misty Holley. Norcom High School is on partial lockdown, meaning no one can go in or out of the school, but otherwise the school day is normal, she explained.

"A dismissal schedule for the schools is being worked out," she said.

Alison Todd said she was just getting into her car when she say police converge on the campus.

"As I got into my car, about five police cars came around. Before I could pull off, about 10 more came around and then before I could turn around, about 20 more came and I just knew something serious had happened," she said.

He did not have any information about a motive for the stabbing.

Security forces are searching the campus for Harwell, who is 5'8" tall and has blond hair. If you see him, call security at 953-5225.

For anyone who has an appointment or business at the installation, you should stay away until further notice.

Just Thursday, the installation underwent an "active shooter" drill. Moir stressed this is not a drill.

Portsmouth Police are assisting the Navy with the situation. Patrol officers, plain clothes detectives, SWAT and some command staff are taking part in the search, said Det. Holley.

Norfolk Police with an armored vehicle, the Chesapeake Police SWAT, NCIS and Homeland Security officers are also assisting.

NSA Hampton Roads provides consistent, operationally ready and secure shore installation support services at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads (NSA HR) Headquarters (to include Supply Depot Annex and Camp Allen Marine Corps), Lafayette River Annex, NSA HR-Portsmouth, and NSA HR Northwest Annex, allowing tenant activities to dedicate their resources to warfighting, forward operations and combat readiness.


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