‘Spice’ could be to blame for attack on Navy destroyer

Posted at 8:07 PM, May 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-04 20:07:31-04

NORFOLK, Va. (WTVR) --The dangerous synthetic drug spice could explain why Jeffery Savage boarded the USS Mahan in March leading to the shooting that ended his and Mark Mayo's life.

Investigators have found no rational reason why the truck driver picked the destroyer where Mayo died protecting his shipmates

The Navy has long worried about a synthetic marijuana commonly called "spice." This video aimed at sailors explains how the drug can cause hallucinations and even violent outbursts.

Sources told WTKR that "spice" could be the reason for the attack on the docked destroyer.

In late March, the trucker slipped through security and boarded the destroyer. He snatched a sentry's gun and shot a second sentry who raced to help. Master-at-Arms Mark Mayo died in the attack, as did Savage.

Sources told WTKR that investigators have spent weeks studying Savage, but have found no connection to the ship or the crew. However, they did find out from Savage's family and friends he was agitated and stressed -- and that he had been smoking both pot and spice.

Savage penetrated base security without any ID cards or credentials and drove his truck to a gate and made a hand motion at the guard. The guard thought Savage was asking to make a u-turn, so the guard waved the truck through. But the truck did not make a u-turn and instead drove to a parking lot near the destroyer.

A report on the security breach and the shooting could be released later this month. But sources said that report will not show any known connection between the truck driver and the sailors on the ship.

Mayo, the sailor who died, was awarded a medal for bravery and he was buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.