A Camp Lejeune Marine who died after an apparent accidental shooting while on duty was laid to rest today.
Camp Lejeune officials say 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf died last week after he was shot in the chest while guarding the base's gates.
This week his body was returned home to Crowley, Texas.
About 50 Patriot Guard Riders escorted his body from the airport to the funeral home, calling it an honor.
"We're just privileged to do it," said Bill Kushnir, Patriot Guard Rider. "He was obviously a hero, dedicated to the Marines, dedicated to his family."
Officials at Camp Lejeune say the shooter is still in custody as they investigate what they believe was an accident.
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The father of a 21-year-old Camp Lejeune Marine killed in an accidental shooting on base Tuesday says his son overcame physical hurdles to join his two other brothers in the Marine Corps.
Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, was born in Amory, Miss., but moved to Crowley, Texas, in 2012 along with his nine siblings, his father, Aubrey Boterf, told the Associated Press.
Michael Stephen, his twin brother, who is also a Marine, says Mark underwent surgery to correct a hernia, but then pushed himself to quickly meet the physical standards of the Corps.
A Pentagon spokesman says the fatal shooting by a colleague in a guard shack at Camp Lejeune appears to have been an accident. Boterf joined the Marines in 2012 and had no deployment history. He was on temporary assignment as a sentry when the incident happened.
The Marine Corps identified Boterf Wednesday night.
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Many Marines are still in shock about what happened yesterday. But many say regardless of the shooting, they still feel as if the base is safe.
It all happened around 5:30 p.m., a single shot fired by one Marine that hit another Marine in the chest.
The Naval Criminal Investigating Service or NCIS believes it knows what motivated it.
"NCIS has done its initial assessment of the circumstances surrounding the shooting that took place at the main gate yesterday and all indications are that this was a result of a negligent discharge of a firearm," said Nat Fahy, Dir. of Public Affairs, Camp Lejeune.
Base officials say both Marines were in the sentry guard shack when the gun went off. For security reasons, the base is not releasing the video.
While traffic appeared to be flowing fine on the base Wednesday, some Marines can't believe it happened.
"I'm shocked and surprised that after all the things we go through with safety that this would happen,” said Julian Johnson, USMC. Johnson has been a Marine for 13 years. He says he even served as a gate guard before. He says safety and proper training is key. "Before we go to the field, during the field exercises, during the evolution, after, training is always paramount."
Base officials say both Marines involved in this shooting were temporarily assigned to the gates, but say they still should have been prepared.
On military bases, hearing of a shooting or death in combat is a normal situation the men and women deal with. But officials say having it happen at home is harder to grasp.
Base officials say the shooter is still in custody while they investigate. So far, they haven't filed any formal charges.
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An initial assessment from NCIS officials indicates that negligent discharge was the likely cause of the shooting death of a Marine sentry at Camp Lejeune.
That's according to Nat Fahy, Director of Public Affairs, MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune.
Fahy says it take several weeks of forensic examination to confirm the initial findings with absolute certainty.
The Marine was shot and killed Tuesday at Camp Lejeune's Main Gate, according to officials on the base.
It happened around 5:30 p.m., when a male Marine sentry standing guard at Camp Lejeune’s Main Gate guard shack fired an M4 rifle, killing another Marine guard. The victim was shot in the chest and later died around 6:30 p.m. at the Naval Hospital on-base.
"The situation was very quickly isolated and deemed to be neither a terrorist event nor an active shooter situation," said Capt. Joshua Smith, Deputy Director of Public Affairs.
Capt. Smith said losing a Marine stateside on base is tough on everyone in the Camp Lejeune community.
Names of those involved are expected to be released early Wednesday evening.
The incident remains under investigation by Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:18 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:18:42 GMT
SunCruz Facebook page
One of the only two offshore casino ships in the Grand Strand closed down suddenly on Monday. SunCruz Casino, which sailed from Little River, “ceased all operations” on Monday, according to a message left on their business phone line.More >>
One of the only two offshore casino ships in the Grand Strand closed down suddenly on Monday. SunCruz Casino, which sailed from Little River, “ceased all operations” on Monday, according to a message left on their business phone line. More >>
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:35:12 GMT
The family had been gathered in Florida for the anniversary of the dad and mom... Facebook photo
The family of the father and daughter killed in a plane crash on Sunday have released a written statement, remembering the lives of 9-year-old Oceana and her father Ommy. In the statement the family describes Oceana as a, "beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted little girl." Her father OmmyMore >>
The family of the father and daughter killed in a plane crash on Sunday have released a written statement, remembering the lives of 9-year-old Oceana and her father Ommy. In the statement the family describes Oceana as a, "beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted little girl." Her father Ommy More >>