Marine killed at Lejeune was temporarily on sentry duty

Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 11:19 PM.

“I ask … that your hearts and prayers go out to the family and to the community as a whole; to the Marines and all the civilian Marines who work on this base and all of the Onslow County Community,” he said. “It’s a tough loss for us and we will get through it as a community.”

Marine officials said Wednesday that due to processing times of forensic evidence, it will be weeks before NCIS will know for certain if the shooting was the result of a negligent discharge of the Marine in custody’s weapon.

Scott Propheter, a Marine veteran and associate at Guerrilla Armament in Jacksonville, said the shooter would be to blame in the case of a negligent discharge, because that would indicate weapon was functioning properly.

“If a weapon is being handled properly, something like this will absolutely not happen,” Propheter said. “It takes negligence on the part of the person handling the weapon for someone to be harmed with that weapon. Now, if it were an accidental discharge, the weapon would have malfunctioned even though everything was done properly.”

The M4 Carbine is a semi-automatic rifle used widely within the military as a standard issue weapon. The M4 has a selector switch that allows the shooter to place the weapon on safe, preventing the rifle from firing; semi-automatic, which allows the weapon to fire one round each time the trigger is pulled; or three-round burst, which fires the weapon three times with one trigger pull. One round was fired in Tuesday’s shooting, according to base officials.

Every Marine, both officer and enlisted, are trained on handling procedures, firing and maintenance of the M4 Carbine, according to Marine Corps Training and Education Command documents.

As far as the weapon accidentally firing, Propheter said, there is little to no chance of that happening. The M4, he explained, is a very reliable and safe weapon.

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