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Sailor death ruled a suicide
By Jennifer Grogan Published on 5/12/2009
Groton - The death of a 22-year-old sailor at the Naval Submarine Base was a suicide, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Machinist’s Mate Third Class John Carlos Rodriguez, who was assigned to the USS Hawaii, died of a gunshot wound to head, according to the office.
Rodriguez, of Doylestown, Penn., was working early Friday on the pier at the base, said Lt. Patrick Evans, Submarine Group Two public affairs officer.
He was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London around 5 a.m. Friday after the incident, where he was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m., according to the hospital.
No one else was involved or injured, Evans said.
The suicide is under investigation. But that investigation should not delay the upcoming departure of the Hawaii (SSN 776) for its new homeport in Pearl Harbor, Evans said.
A memorial service for Rodriguez was held Monday at the Shepherd of the Sea Chapel.
“We grieve with the family,” Rear Adm. Bruce E. Grooms, commander of Submarine Group Two, said Tuesday, calling it an “unfortunate incident.”
“We are investigating what drove this,” Grooms added. “We looked really closely at the climate aboard the submarine and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that the boat and the senior leadership are as good as it gets.”
Rodriguez enlisted in the Navy in 2006. He attended the Naval Submarine School in Groton from July 2006 to January 2007 and reported to the Hawaii in February 2007.