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Quantico commander speaks after shooting leaves three Marines dead

Three active-duty Marines are dead following an apparent double-murder and suicide on the grounds of the Corps Base in nearby Quantico late Thursday.

The shootings occurred around 11 p.m. The shooter, a Marine, was pronounced dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound by law enforcement at the scene, according to the Quantico base's website.

Two additional active-duty Marines were also found dead. The identities of all the fallen are being withheld until next of kin are notified. The three were permanent personnel at Officer Candidates School.

The Provost Marshals Office responded with assistance from Prince William County police department.

Col. David W. Maxwell, MCB Quantico commander, held a press conference this morning. Below is the transcript:

“Good morning. It has been a long night as we have begun to deal with the tremendous loss which we have suffered last night. On behalf of Marine Corps Base Quantico and Officer Candidates School I want to express my sincere condolences to the families, friends and fellow Marines of the three Marines we lost last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

This is a tragic loss for our Marine Corps family.

Thursday evening’s fatal shooting was confined to Taylor Hall, a single barracks at Officer Candidates School. The quick reaction of our Provost Marshal's Office and Prince William County police enabled us to assess the extent of the situation and to act quickly to resolve it.

The shooter, an active duty male Marine, was pronounced dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound by law enforcement at the scene. Two other victims, a male and female, both active duty Marines, were pronounced dead at the scene. The three Marines involved in this incident were all permanent personnel assigned to Officer Candidates School. All Candidates are safe and have been accounted for. Additionally, all other OCS personnel are accounted for as well. The identities of the victims will be withheld for 24 hours until after primary next of kin notification.

At 10:30 p.m. a 9-1-1 call was received by the Provost Marshal's Office. Within five minutes of notification, authorities were on the scene. Authorities did not report hearing any shot or firing any shots. By 11 p.m. Quantico’s security had been heightened and mass notification via the giant voice mass notification system began to pass instruction to base residents and employees. The safety of our Marines, civilian Marines and families aboard Quantico is paramount. At 2:30 a.m. restrictions were lifted and the base returned to normal operations.

We ask for your patience as we conduct a thorough investigation into this incident. I anticipate a lengthy investigation and I do not anticipate being able to provide any further details of this incident until after we have confirmed the next of kin notification.  

Our base and unit chaplains are currently providing counseling services to our Marines. The well-being of our Marines and families aboard Quantico is a priority. As we take care of our Marines and their families who are dealing with this tragedy, I would ask the support of our neighbors, and their thoughts and prayers as well for our Marines and families aboard Quantico.

Thank you and Semper Fi.”


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