PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A Marine who was transported to a Palm Springs hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a two-hour interaction with police at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms died on Tuesday, Capt. Nicole Plymale said.
Plymale said the base’s police department received reports of shots fired around 6:30 a.m. Officers were dispatched to the scene and soon after “cordoned off” the suspect where the Marine was found on a remote hillside on the base.
Military police were communicating with the Marine when the person sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound around 8:30 a.m., Plymale said. No other injuries were reported and officers did not fire any shots during the incident.
Plymale confirmed the death on Tuesday evening. It was unclear when the Marine died.
Officials would not say whether the initial shots were aimed at anyone for any reason, but added that the incident is under investigation.
A shelter-in-place order was given around 7 a.m. and was lifted around 9 a.m., when the gates to the base were reopened and staff arrived to work as normal, Plymale said.
The U.S. Marines confirmed on Twitter that authorities were investigating reports of an active shooter on the base in a series of tweets starting around 8 a.m.
“Military police responded to reports of gunshots,” a second tweet said. “We cannot confirm a suspect in custody at this time. More to follow.”
The Marine Corps tweeted just before 9:30 a.m. that the “individual is currently being treated and will be transported to a medical facility,” adding the incident is under investigation.
The base is located just adjacent to the town of Twentynine Palms in the high desert of Southern California, about 150 miles east of Los Angeles. At almost 600,000 acres, it is the largest base operated by the Marine Corps. About 8,500 people live on the base and about 25,000 live in the neighboring town.
An investigation was launched last year after a Navy corpsman at the base was killed in an “off-duty capacity,” Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a spokesman for the base, said when the investigation was opened. And four Marines stationed at the base have been accused of homicides in the past four years, two of whom have been convicted.
However, base administration have not reported that the investigation into Tuesday’s incident is related to any ongoing investigation.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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