SAN DIEGO – The Navy is investigating after a Marine from Colorado was found shot to death while on guard duty at Southern California’s Camp Pendleton, according to a report Tuesday.
Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz was discovered dead around 4 a.m. March 15 with a gunshot wound to the head, the Orange County Register reported.
His mother, Misty Schultz-McCoy, said she begged one of the Marines who broke the news to “unofficially tell us what they thought” led up to the shooting.
“She said, they thought it was suicide. The next day they acted differently and said there would be an official memorial because they did not believe he committed suicide,” Schultz-McCoy told the newspaper from her home in Longmont.
Officials from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force would not discuss details of the death or the investigation.
The Marine Corps presented Schultz-McCoy with a Gold Star and a citation that said her 19-year-old son died while in the service of his country.
Schultz-McCoy said both her son’s grandfathers served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and he had wanted to become a Marine since he was a boy.
Schultz enlisted after high school and went to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in the summer of 2017.
“All he wanted to do was protect people,” his mother said.
Schultz’s body will be flown this week to Colorado for services scheduled for April 6. A memorial service is planned for April 3 at Camp Pendleton.