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Marine Shooting At Camp Lejeune May Have Been Accidental

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Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf

It was an accident. That's what Defense Department officials are saying about the fatal shooting of a Marine guard by his colleague at Camp Lejeune on Monday.

Marine Corps officials have identified the victim as Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, 21, of Tupelo, Miss. The shooter hasn't been named, and he remains in custody, although no charges have yet been filed.

According to Stars and Stripes, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren explained to reporters Wednesday:

“Indicators point to a negligent discharge situation. It appears right now to have been an accident.”

Base spokesman Nat Fahy reiterated that point when he told the Washington Post that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service believes the Marine who shot Boterf in the chest with an M4 rifle "didn’t intentionally fire the weapon."

Camp Lejeune officials say Boterf was serving temporarily as a guard. Boterf's twin brother, Lance Corporal Mike Boterf, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal:

“[T]he true story was that he volunteered to take the position so another Marine could take leave to get married. That’s the kind of guy he was.”

NCIS continues to investigate the shooting.

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