3 detained trying to bring live mortar round to Pearl Harbor

HONOLULU (AP) — Three people are in custody after military officials said they found a live mortar round in their vehicle at a gate to the sprawling Pearl Harbor military base.

Base spokesman Charles Anthony said Wednesday that he doesn't know what the trio planned to do or where they wanted to go.

“It’s an explosive device," he said of the mortar round. “It's a deadly weapon.”

Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating and took custody of the three suspects, Anthony said.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was shut down late Tuesday to incoming and outgoing traffic while a bomb squad investigated the vehicle that appeared at the base without authorization to enter, the Navy said in a statement.

Hundreds of people, usually lost, end up at the gate to the base daily and are turned around if they don’t have proper identification to enter, Anthony said.

“The security guard first noticed the smell of marijuana and then looked inside the vehicle and saw what was potential ordnance,” he said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP's earlier story is below.

The sprawling Pearl Harbor military base was shut down to incoming and outgoing traffic while a bomb squad investigated a car that appeared at the base without authorization to enter, the Navy said in a statement.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham was closed at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night after a gate guard ordered a vehicle to turn around and then saw something that prompted security forces and the bomb squad to investigate, the statement said.

The base's gates were closed for about two hours. There were no injuries and no information was disclosed about the occupant or occupants of the car and what if anything was found inside the vehicle.

The base is also home to a naval shipyard where an active duty U.S. sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbor opened fire on three civilian employees in December, killing two of them. Officials have said the sailor then took his own life.

The shooting happened days before dignitaries and veterans attended the base's event to mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.