Warner plans to grill Navy on base security after Norfolk shooting

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by Neal Bennett/Mike Goodning, 13 News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 3:38 PM

NORFOLK --  Senator Mark Warner plans to ask some "tough questions" of the U.S. Navy after a man using a Transportation Worker Identification Credential shot and killed a sailor on the USS Mahan at Pier 1 at Naval Station Norfolk. 

Naval Station Norfolk's commanding officer Captain Robert Clark announced that the man, now identified as 35-year-old Jeffrey Tyrone Savage of Portsmouth, had a valid TWIC card. However, that card should not have allowed him access to the base.

Warner says he is going to ask for a briefing from the Navy about the Norfolk incident. 

"They said a year ago (after the Navy Yard shooting) they were going to improve security. Obviously, there are still problems," Warner told 13News now Thursday.

A criminal record does not prevent someone from getting a TWIC card, which is issued by the Transportation Security Administration and used at facilities like ports.

Savage was convicted on manslaughter charges for a 2005 killing in Charlotte, N.C. and was released from prison in 2009.

Warner says he's concerned that the TWIC card is being used for base access and he thinks there should be increased scrutiny of people who have access to military installations.

"In a computerized world, how do we check folks out in a way that's not too intrusive but prevents these kind of tragedies?  I think we are just at the beginning of something that's going to be a much much larger debate," Warner said.

Read Sen. Warner's letter to the Secretaries of the Navy and Homeland Security

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