3 Marines Dead In Double Murder Suicide At Quantico Marine Base

Posted By Urban News Hour | March 22, 2013

QUANTICO, Va. – Three active duty Marines — two men and one woman assigned to the Officer Candidate School at Marine Base Quantico — are dead in an apparent double murder-suicide that locked down the Prince William County base for several hours.

“Our thoughts are prayers are with them at this time. This is truly a tragic loss for the Marine Corps, which has had a number of tragic losses in the last couple of weeks,” said Col. David W. Maxwell, Quantico base commander, during a 7 a.m. news conference.

“I want to express my sincere condolences to the families, the friends and the Marines of the three Marines we lost last night,” an emotional Maxwell said in prepared remarks that last just over 4 minutes.

Two of the dead are men. The third casualty is a woman. The identities of the three are being withheld until their families are notified.

Maxwell says a 911 call came in at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and authorities were on the scene within 5 minutes.

By 11 p.m. Quantico was locked down. At 2:30 a.m. the lock-down ended.

“During crises and situations like these, the safety of our Marines, their families, civilian Marines aboard Quantico is always a priority a paramount in what we do,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell said an investigation is under way.

The fatal shootings were confined to Taylor Hall, Maxwell said.

Initially, the incident was reported as a barricade and a standoff, but Maxwell says it was neither.

Base spokesman First Lt. Agustin Solivan later clarified that after the first shooting, police had the shooter “isolated” in a barracks dorm room.

The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities also pronounced all three Marines dead at the scene.

Maxwell said counseling support is being offered at Quantico.

The base, which is about 37 miles south of Washington, is also home to the FBI’s training academy.

In 2010, the base was one of several targets of an ex-Marine reservist who, during five nighttime shootings, fired on military targets including the Pentagon. Yonathan Melaku, on two separate occasions, fired at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico. No one was injured and Melaku was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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