Virginia Stabbing: What Happened?By: Toni Matthews-El - June 7, 2014
A stabbing incident occurred Friday morning at a Virginia naval base, resulting in the temporary lock-down of a naval medical facility.
The violent confrontation took place at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, just outside the Navy Exchange. The exchange is a military store where individuals shop for various items and accessories.
According to Captain Jake Johansson, a Navy commanding officer, the stabbing followed a confrontation between two sailors.
The men apparently knew each other prior to the incident, which occurred at around 8:30 am.
The sailors were later identified as Petty Officer 3rd Class Wilbur Harwell and Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Powell.
Harwell and Powell engaged one another in a heated argument. The altercation escalated quickly.
Eventually Harwell began stabbing Powell. Johansson said the victim suffered several stab wounds during the violent confrontation.
It is not presently known what the two men were arguing about.
Soon after the stabbing incident, Harwell fled the scene.
As word of the stabbing spread, the medical facility was temporarily put on lock-down. Navy officials searched the entire naval base for Harwell.
When Harwell wasn’t located, the search effort soon spread beyond the naval base.
Navy officials worked closely with federal, state, and local authorities in order to locate the suspect.
Naval authorities also worked to ensure that the stabbing was an isolated incident. It was eventually determined that aside from the incident, there were no additional threats to persons on the naval base.
Misty Holley, spokeswoman for the Portsmouth Police Department, said that Harwell was taken into custody following a day-long manhunt. He cooperated with authorities and was arrested without further incident.
Authorities found the 26-year-old sailor in Virginia Beach, Va., nearly 20 miles from where the stabbing occurred.
Reports indicate that Powell was rushed from the scene of the incident to a nearby Navy hospital. He underwent surgery and is currently in critical condition.
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