A shooting that claimed the life of a Marine at the Camp Lejeune main gate Tuesday remains under investigation.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a Marine sentry in the guard shack at the front gate of Camp Lejeune fired his M4 Carbine once, hitting another Marine who was also in the shack, according to Nat Fahy, the public affairs officer for Marine Corps Installations East. Fahy said Marine witnesses on sentry duty — the exact number remains undisclosed due to security measures aboard the base — rendered aid until base EMS arrived and took the wounded Marine to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, where the Marine was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.
The male shooter was in custody of the provost marshal’s office Tuesday night and awaiting questioning by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and the shooting remains under investigation, according to Fahy.
Neither the victim nor the shooter was identified publicly as of Tuesday night, and base officials said the incident was not being considered an act of terrorism nor an active-shooter event.
Fahy would not discuss weapons handling procedures due to anti-terrorism and force protection regulations.
However, an active-duty Marine currently assigned to the military police detachment responsible for providing security at the base’s gates said it appears that weapons procedures had been violated.
“In order for this to have happened, every weapons safety rule and the required weapons condition must have been violated,” said the Marine, who requested anonymity since he is not permitted to speak to the media.
Marines, he said, are taught five safety rules regarding weapons handling: treat every weapon as if it were loaded; never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot; keep fingers straight and off the trigger unless about to fire; keep the safety on unless about to fire; and know the target and what lies beyond.
He added that Marines are also taught to adhere to predetermined weapons conditions for certain scenarios, which range from “four” to “one,” with four being a weapon stripped of all ammunition, and one being a weapon that has a magazine inserted and a round in the chamber, ready to fire.
“You are almost never allowed to go condition one,” said the Marine.
Thomas Brennan is a reporter for the Jacksonville Daily News.