According to the Washington Post on Friday, a Marine shot and killed two colleagues, a man and a woman, at an officer candidates school in northern Virginia where all three worked.
According to base commander Col. David W. Maxwell, one Marine was found dead in the barracks and another in Taylor Hall along with the body of the gunman. Taylor Hall houses staff only of up to 110 Marines. Officer candidates were safe in their own quarters.
The names of the dead were being withheld for 24 hours pending notification of next of kin.
Marines and their families were instructed to stay inside over a loudspeaker after the first shooting took place. The lockdown was lifted on Friday morning.
The process seems a little skewed and hopefully the final report and details will create a clearer picture as to what happened on that fateful night. Authorities were reportedly called to the scene at Marine Corps Base Quantico at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Keep in mind that at 10:30 p.m., officers found one male Marine dead and the shooter, also a male, was inside the barracks according to a Marine official. It wasn’t until 3 a.m. that officers entered the barracks and found the other two bodies, the shooter and a female Marine.
“There was a lag but I can’t go into the details about the length of the lag that occurred,” base spokesman Lt. Agustin Solivan said Friday. Maxwell stated that “there was no standoff or barricades” so what was the hold up?
Maxwell also stated that authorities did not fire any shots and did not hear any shots fired so it is conceivable that the two Marines found early Friday morning may have already been dead by the time the officers arrived Thursday evening.
The challenging training facility which describes itself as “the first proving ground for future Marine officers” could feasibly be a stressful working environment.
NBC reports that a senior defense official called the incident “isolated.” He went on to say, “There was nothing random here.”
Co-workers have been known to turn on each other even to this degree but speculation of a love triangle has got to be racing through many minds today.
So, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and this case seems to be off to a peculiar start. The motive is something that should keep investigators busy for a while but it seems to be even more puzzling as to why officers seemed to hesitate for quite some time before entering the barracks.
“This is a truly tragic loss again for the Marine Corps, which has had a number of tragic losses in the last couple of weeks,” Col. Maxwell said.
Earlier this week, seven members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force were killed Monday when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube during an exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. Eight other Marines were injured.
Americans worry about the brave men and women who are serving in foreign lands but these events are clearly a reminder that all are at risk whether they are at home or away.