A U.S. Marine has been charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in the January shooting of a fellow Marine at the Corps’ Washington D.C. barracks.
Investigators say Lance Cpl. Andrew Johnson shot 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia in the head on New Year’s Day after pointing a pistol at Kuznia and pulling the “trigger in jest,” according to a charge sheet obtained by the Marine Corps Times.
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The Marines said the shooting happened at approximately 5 a.m., during a shift change. Kuznia, a native of Karlstad, Minn., was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center shortly before 6 a.m. Jan. 1.
Kuznia’s mother, Markelle, said at the time of her son’s death that he always longed to be a Marine.
“He just wanted to serve,” she recalled. “Ever since he was little, he talked about being a soldier.”
“When he got out [of the military], he was going to start his own construction business,” she added. “He said he wanted to give five years to his country.”
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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted his condolences the day after Kuznia’s death was announced.
“We are forever grateful for your service to our state and our country,” Walz said. “May your family find peace and strength in outpouring of love and support from the community.”
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Marine spokeswoman Capt. Katie Kochert told the publication that Johnson will face a so-called Article 32 hearing later this month, where some or all of the charges could be dropped. Following the hearing, an officer will recommend whether Johnson will face a court-martial or receive administrative action.
Fox News’ Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.