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Authorities confirmed the shooting death of three people at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia near Washington, DC overnight. It is believed that it was a murder-suicide, in which the gunman killed male and female colleagues before turning the gun on himself.
“This is truly a tragic loss again for the Marine Corps, which has had a number of tragic losses in the last couple of weeks,” Col. David Maxwell, the base’s commander, told the press early Friday morning, reports USA Today. He confirmed that all three on active duty and assigned to the Officer Candidate School.
According to CBS News, the first victim’s body was found around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night. A second body was found later, with the gunman’s body close by. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gun wound.
Maxwell expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, but did not reveal their names. He did deny reports that the shooter had barricaded himself in the barracks. “This was not a standoff,” he confirmed.
This is the second tragedy for the Marine Corps this week. On Monday, seven Marines died when a mortar shell exploded at the Nevada Hawthorne Army Depot.
In a statement for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Pentagon spokesman George Little said, “This tragedy, as well as the tragedy in Nevada earlier this week, took the lives of Marines who volunteered to serve their nation...His heart and his prayers are with them and their families.”
The Quantico base is located 37 miles south of Washington.