Camp Pendleton Marine Dead From Gunshot Wound To Head

A Camp Pendleton Marine was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Monday, October 5.

The Marine, from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at California’s Camp Pendleton, the major West Coast outpost for the U.S. Marine Corps, has been identified as Lance Cpl. Dominic Schraft, 19, of Vienna, Missouri, by officials at the base north of San Diego, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Public affairs officer of 1st Marine Division Lt. Colleen McFadden said Schraft’s body was found early Monday morning, at approximately at about 6 a.m., at Marksmanship Training Range 214, Fox 5 San Diego reports. She said the range is where the Marines go to develop their “fundamental combat marksmanship” skills.

The Camp Pendleton Federal Fire Department responded to the scene and said they were not immediately able to determine how the Marine was shot.

Schraft enlisted in August 2014 and served as a field radio operator. While he was never deployed, he did receive the National Defense Service medal and Global War on Terrorism Service medal.

The circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated, and an exact cause has not been released. No other marines were threatened or injured in the incident.

“The command’s priorities are to take care of the Marine’s family and friends,” McFadden said in a separate statement. “We want to ensure these personnel are being provided for during this challenging time.”

Camp Pendleton is located just 38 miles from downtown San Diego in North County and 82 miles south of Los Angeles. According to the base’s website, “Camp Pendleton is one of the Department of Defense’s busiest installations and offers a broad spectrum of training facilities for many active and reserve Marine, Army and Navy units, as well as national, state and local agencies.” More than 38,000 families live in the base housing, but the base’s daytime population reaches more than 70,000 military and civilian personnel.

The base is home to the I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, and many tenant units, including Marine Corps Installation-West, 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Wounded Warriors Battalion-West, Marine Corps Air Station at Munn Field, Marine Aircraft Group 39, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego’s Weapons & Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps and Army Reserve Forces, the Navy’s Assault Craft Unit 5, a Naval Hospital, and 1st Dental Battalion.

The base also offers specialized schools and training. The schools located on the base include the Assault Amphibian School Battalion, School of Infantry-West, Field Medical Service School, and Marine Corps University.

This incident marks the fourth fatal incident to take place at the base in the past couple years. Most recently, one Marine was killed and 18 other servicemen were injured during a vehicle rollover incident in September. The Marine who was killed was also assigned to the 1st Marine division. McFadden issued a similar statement at the time.

“The command’s priorities are to take care of the Marines, Sailors and families of the unit. We want to ensure the Marines and their family members are being provided for during this difficult time.”

In January 2015, two officers at Camp Pendleton were killed in a helicopter crash in Twentynine Palms, and in 2013, four Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines were killed during a range maintenance operation to dispose of an unexploded ordnance.

[Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]