CROWLEY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Marine who was killed earlier this week at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has been identified as Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf of Crowley. The 21-year-old died Tuesday after receiving a single gunshot wound to the chest. He joined the Marine Corps in August 2012.
Although another Marine is in custody, no charges have been filed. Pentagon officials have stated that the shooting was likely an accident. There are no indications which point to negligent discharge. The shooting occurred while the two Marines were on sentry duty at Camp Lejeune’s main gate. Boterf was filling in for another Marine, who was on leave to get married.
“This is a huge loss for us,” said Nat Fahy, director of public affairs at Camp Lejeune. “Anytime we lose a Marine on base or in garrison is a huge, huge loss. It’s gut-wrenching for this community.”
The incident is still under investigation. It could be weeks before the the shooting is confirmed to have been accidental. Meanwhile, the name of the Marine in custody has not been released.
“We will get through it,” Fahy added. “We will do our after-action assessments. We will learn from this event.”
Boterf was a 2011 graduate of Crowley High School. His family moved to North Texas in 2010. His father said that it was sad to have his life end this way, calling it unnecessary. “He was always funny,” said Aubrey Boterf. “There’s a lot of memories, a lot of pain right now.”
“He had a hero’s heart,” added mother Amy Boterf on Thursday. “He didn’t join to sit behind a desk.”
Boterf’s twin brother, Mike, and their older brother, Joseph, are both also in the Marines. “Mark dedicated his life to serving and making people happy,” Joseph Boterf stated. “Last time he spoke to our family, he said, ‘I try to make people smile as they pass through the gate, to make their day better.’ That was just the type of guy he was.”
Crowley Independent School District sent CBS 11 the following statement:
“Crowley ISD is deeply saddened by the death of Lance Corporal Mark Boterf. Mark came to Crowley High School for his senior year and joined the Marines after graduating in 2011. We are very grateful for his service to our country and we join his family and friends in mourning this tragic loss.”
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