The sudden death of one of the U.S. Navy’s top commanders in the Middle East was likely the result of a suicide, according to recent reports.
Vice Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, was found dead in his quarters at fleet headquarters in Bahrain on Saturday. While Navy officials have ruled out any foul play in the cause of Adm. Stearney’s death, service officials plan to officially determine the cause of death next week, online news outlet USNI News reported Sunday. As 5th Fleet commander, Adm. Stearney oversaw all U.S. naval operations in the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.
While the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, Navy officials are widely expected to announce that Adm. Stearney’s death was the result of a suicide, USNI news reports, citing U.S. defense officials.
“Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all of us,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in a statement Saturday,
“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior are cooperating on the investigation, but at this time no foul play is suspected. Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of 5th Fleet, has assumed command and is maintaining continuity in our responsibilities and posture in the U.S. 5th Fleet,” Adm. Richardson added.