Sailor found shot to death on USS Essex

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USS EssexSAN DIEGO — An investigation was under way Friday into the death of a 19-year-old sailor who was found with a gunshot wound aboard the San Diego- based USS Essex, Navy officials said.

The sailor was found mortally wounded aboard the amphibious assault ship Thursday morning, according to a Navy statement. She was identified as Airman Apprentice Cynthia Shupe, Navy spokesman Rick Chernitzer told FOX 5 News.

Shupe was taken from the ship to UC San Diego’s trauma center, where she died, Chernitzer said. Investigators confirmed that the fatal wound was self-inflicted, he said.

San Diego is the current homeport of the USS Essex. It sailed out of Sasebo Naval Base in Japan until last year.


    • Lee

      Probably was a murder made to look like a suicide covering up a pattern of sexual assaults.

      The Navy will just sweep this death away as quickly as possible.
      And the media will simply report what the Navy says.

      If you're a woman DON'T ENLIST IN THE MILITARY.

  • Navy Cop

    Who are the ship's Security Officer and the CMAA? It could be a training issue in the ship security defense force. I am pretty sure that the invesigators are going to check her training record.

  • Top Sailor

    My prayers thoughts and heart goes out to the family and friends of this young Sailor!
    She is TAD to security. The investigation is ongoing. We will be informed of the facts as soon as possible. The CMAA and the Security Officer and/or G-2 DIVO have to be ready to answer some questions about the quality of training and supervision.

    • Navy Cop

      I am hearing that AOAA Supe did not even want to arm up and be in security. She did not commit suicide. The leaders failed her.

      • Anonymous

        No one ever WANTS to go on watch, they need to. It is the job of every military member to protect each other. If your not willing to do that, than don't join. Not pointing figures, but people need to stop blaming others for this. There must have been something else going on in her life, that lead to this choice. The Navy screens everyone, but they could have always lied. If you're not ready, don't join.

  • Anono

    Uh, did anybody actually read the story? It was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The DIVO, security, training officer, etc can't follow around 4,000 Sailors at all times. Sometimes there is no fault…it's easy to second-guess after the fact.

    • Navy Cop

      A self-inflicted gun shot can mean a lot of things. She did not commit suicide. What went wrong? Lack of training is my best answer. That young Sailor joined the Navy just over a year ago. She had a promising career in the Navy. However, lack of weapons familiarization and training can be the cause of the accident. When I was in the Navy, my Sailors always patrol in pair.
      SSDF have sectors/zones. When armed up, SSDF don't patrol the ship by themselves. What went wrong?

      • Anonymous

        The 9MM has 3 safeties on it: a safety/decocking lever (which has to be put on fire (red dot) to shoot), a half cock notch (which prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger was pulled), and a locking block (which sits in the middle of the firing pin, preventing the firing pin from striking the round unless the trigger was pulled). In order for that weapon to have been shot, they would have had to pull the trigger.
        You can blame it on lack of training if you want, but the fact still remains that she would have had to aim and pull the trigger for it to shoot. Stop blaming the weapon and the people that supervise her. This was an accident that wasn't seen. She must have been hurting for some unknown reason. Stop focusing on the bad, and instead remember the good. I pretty sure she would want everyone to remember her at her best, not her worst.

    • Top Sailor

      They have to take weapons training and Sailor's/A&E screening VERY seriously before assignment to Security.
      The DIVO, Security Officer and Training Officers can make sure the first line leaders are making round and post checks VERY frequently. The CO is in charge of the ship but he can't be everywhere all the times. He trains his middle managers to take care of their departments/divisions.

    • William Hayes

      Self Inflicted wound ? From a Jealous co-worker ? From having been raped ? There are some serious Questions that need to be asked.

    • Jenafree

      Did you read any of the comments? There’s a guy on here that is in her command he said it wasn’t self inflicted.

  • Anonymous

    Do you know this girl? If you do not then don’t comment about what the media stated. We all know that the media does not always get the story straight. We also know that the the truth might not always be told. Regardless of what the story states she still has a family and numerous friends. She had a beautiful smile and touched many lives.

    • Essex Sailor

      Thank you for your post. She did have a beautiful smile. I hope her family, friends, and all of our shipmates on the Essex pull through.

    • Michelle

      I did not know her personally, but know the family, and they are a beautiful family, and Cynthia was a gorgeous girl, my heart goes out to them, and I pray that the investigators will find the truth. R.I.P. Cynthia

    • Anonymous

      Cynthia grew up with my children. Her family and friends are all hurting! I pray that a thorough investigation is made – her family, friends & shipmates deserve that. Her life was cut way too short and her presence is deeply missed.

      For all others serving, in our military, we are so grateful for your sacrifices! God Bless!

  • Anonymous

    I was there, and I was close to her, and I find your speculations and finger pointing extremely distasteful and disrespectful. She’s gone now, wish her and her family well and move on.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous person who was present I'm close to this whole ordeal. If you knew her could you convey your opinion as to the suicide speculation? Nobody can make sense of all this just some Insight would help as to the circumstances being accidental or not its only an opinion I understand

  • Anonymous

    If you are active duty military you need to stop speculating and discussing any details on this site immediately. The investigation is ongoing and this is not the appropriate forum for this discussion.


  • anonymous

    She was a former student of mine. I don't care about the details. It's sad regardless of the circumstances. My thoughts are with her family at this time.

  • Anonymous

    Cindy was a friend of mine. I’ve known her since my freshman year of highschool. She always had a smile on her face! Im also good friends with her bestfriends, and seeing the tough times they’re going through is so sad. This situation needs prayer. But I know she’s in a better place with God.
    Love you cindy. You’re already truly missed so much by all of us.


    I was on board when the alert was called, i am not Navy,—i am however EX SOF, hearing Man down is not an easy thing to listen to, your mind runs wild with speculation, the only thing i have learned is, not to speculate, wait for the investigation to end, have respect for the fallen,– and the loved ones, my prayers are with the mother and father and the rest of her family,—to all of you who knew her, i say this, give her the respect she deserves, and stop with all of this speculation!!!!!!!!
    Drive on Cynthia, Drive on.

  • Les

    RIP Cnthia…. as the truth may never come out…. we all know you had love with all who was close to you and your beautiful smile will live on in our hearts forever. …. luv u momma your friends.'


  • friend

    Something or someone caused this she is not to blame our government always covers mistakes up hopefully they are honest about this she was very close to us

    • Anti-conspiracy

      The honest answer is that the military has the highest suicide rate of any other employer in the country! I absolutely HATE when some people can't accept the truth and start spouting off about government conspiracy and cover-ups! The truth is, if you were as close with her as you say, maybe you should have known how unhappy she was and stop trying to pull a conspiracy theory out of this. I am sorry to be so blunt but the reality is that she pulled the trigger, not the government. So how can you say that she is not to blame?

  • Essex armorer!

    For those of you that ask " did sh really shoot herself""" who the he'll are you ton ask??? Were you there??? Did you know her?? Then why are you asking questions!!!!??? And for you fucks that say someone caused this and the government covers up everything… Bitch I was there!!! I'm on that ship!?!??? Did you see it!???? No you didn't so keep your dmbass liberal punk ass coments to yourself!!! Fucking retards!!!! And BTW she did have. Beautiful smile. She always said hi, asked how e ryone was doing…. And to the person with the name "TOP SAILOR" how do you have the nerve to say it's not suicide???? If not then wha is it!???? And navy cop!??? You question our fam training!???? And you say some shit about her not wanting tomgomon watch!??? SHE WASN'T GOING ON WATCH!!! so whoever your resources are are fucking liars!!! Saying she didn't want to arm up and be in security??? She wasn't even in security bitch!!!!

  • friend


    • Eric

      I know what happened so quit talking shit, i wasnt even there and exactly knew what happened to my best friends daughter, so now you MAN UP!!!!!!

  • Essex armorer

    Man up?? Wtf you talking about?? How the hell you gonna say I hate women?? And call me a low life armorer? Your not far from me huh?? Lets go dude!! And I was there!!! How you going to say it was a set up??? Enlighten me people who think they know everything!!!

  • Concerned sailor

    She was not TAD to security, she was not getting ready to go on watch, she work in the armory the night before because she was on duty, get your facts straight please

  • Patrick

    Poor Baby. God Bless her young heart. Shipmates stick together … many probably wished they were there to stop the gunshot. Poor young Baby. Young Airman Apprentice Cynthia Shupe passed away while serving her country in The United States Navy.

    • Eric

      To Patrick,Concerned Sailor, and armorer you are great people, not sure if you were at Cynthia's funeral, really top sailor, I knew Cynthia from the day she was born a great and nice beautiful lady, I miss her just like her Shipmates and I know what happened, but im not going to say it here, so man up sailor, God Bless these Shipmates there serving us proud, just like my dad did and he is watching over Cynthia.

  • Eric

    Regardless to all the crap that i see on here, my best friend lost his daughter, i lost a friend who i knew since she was born, to Patrick,Armorer, and Concerned Sailor, I may have seen you at the funeral you are all great people who were great shipmates to Cynthia and Thank You for serving our Country God Bless you All Cynthia is watching over her Family, friends and Shipmates.

  • an IDT friend

    To Pete, Like you said at the funeral, the worst thing a man can go thru is to lay there child to rest. I can't imagine what you are going thru rite now. God along with Cindy is watching over you rite now and making you strong. You have so many friends to reach out to and talk about this, use those friend to talk and deal with, it will help. Although Cindy is gone in body, her spirit will be with you forever, the memories , the river trip pictures all the times you had with her will never go away. Pete, like you I have a beautiful daughter, and love her more than life itself, and like you, I would give I'm life in a heartbeat so that hers could live on…I AM SO SORRY FOR YOU AND THE LOSS OF YOUR DAUGHTER…

  • Sarka-Jonae

    How did this article get past fact-checking? The title says a sailor was found shot to death on the ship, but the article says she was found mortally wounded and died at the hospital. Which was it? Was she found dead or found wounded? And if experts confirmed the wound was self-inflicted, then why not just say the truth: Sailor commits suicide on USS Essex. A woman killed herself. Does that not warrant the time to write a factually correct and thorough article? How long was she in the Navy? Did she leave a note or does anyone know why she'd kill herself? Is there any sort of memorial?

  • NavyGirly

    RIP to her and prayers to her family and friends. Please let the investigation continue and remember the truth always comes out. For now we just remorse and rejoice in her life and in her service to the U.S. Navy and the nation. My thoughts are also with the crew of USS ESSEX. Siemper Fortis!

  • Jenafree

    Gosh… I see a lot of disappointment here, some of you should feel ashamed, asking questions, and assuming things that would even effect you and the way you live your life. I’m sure the command is taking care of this matter and those (if any) involved will receive the consequence. It’s a nosey society that will spin up a story based on “facts” honestly it’s “swept under the rug” because the only people that need to know about this, already know. R.I.P little lady, you’ll be missed

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