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Marines Relieve Commander Of School Where Murder-Suicide Took Place

Col. Kris J. Stillings
Col. Kris J. Stillings

The head of the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia - the site of a murder-suicide in March that left three Marines dead - has been relieved of his position as commander.

Marine Corps commandant Gen. James Amos told the Marine Corps Times the decision to remove Col. Kris J. Stillings was about accountability:

“I just lost confidence in Colonel Stillings’ ability to handle all the many, many requirements of Officer Candidates School, being commanding officer."

“… With the death of three Marines, goodness, a month ago and a half ago now, that was a cold shot to the heart. … I worked my way through that, and I came to a persistent theme that I’ve been talking about for some time, and that’s the issue about accountability.”
According to Stars and Stripes, Col. Harold R. Van Opdorp will succeed Stillings as commander of the school.

As Home Post reported last month, authorities believe Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, of Pacifica, California shot and killed Lance Cpl. Sara Castro Mata, 19, of Oakley, California and Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, of Guntown, Mississippi before taking his own life.


All three Marines worked at Quantico's Officer Candidates School.