An active duty Marine shot and killed two other active duty Marines before turning the gun on himself late Thursday night at Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., according to a news release issued by 1st Lt. Agustin Solivan.
According to Solivan, the shooter was pronounced dead at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The two other Marines, were also pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Marine Corps Times, the incident happened at Taylor Hall and involved staff members of the Corps’ Officer Candidates School.
During a brief meeting with media Friday morning, Quantico’s commander, Col. David Maxwell, said the base provost marshal’s office received an emergency call at 10:30 p.m. Officials then locked down the base and used its public address system to instruct families to stay inside and lock their doors, a Marine on the installation said.
“We ask for your patience as we conduct a thorough investigation into this incident,” Maxwell said. “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 wel-lbeing 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.”
Initially, a base spokesman reported that the shooter was barricaded inside the barracks, leading to a standoff between the shooter and authorities. But Friday morning, Maxwell told reporters that was not the case. Law enforcement arrived on the scene within minutes of the 911 call, he said, and they neither heard nor fired any gunshots.
Officer Candidates School is considered among the first steps in becoming a Marine officer, with students becoming second lieutenants upon graduation. They move on afterward to training at The Basic School, which also is aboard Quantico.
Taylor Hall is a residential barracks used by the school’s staff. When authorities entered the building around 11 p.m., they found a male shooting victim in the barracks’ common area, according to local media reports. They located the gunman inside one of the barracks’ rooms about two hours later, around the same time they found the female shooting victim.
Marine Corps Base Quantico has returned to normal operations.
This is the second stateside tragedy for the Marine Corps this week. On Monday, seven Marines were killed and seven injured when a mortar shell exploded during mountain warfare training at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
Established in 1917, Marine Corps Base Quantico is the frontline for the Marine Corps’s contribution to current and future warfighting development and leadership for the nation. It serves as the focal point for Marine professional military education and training.
The Marine Corps Times contributed to this report.