A U.S. marine committed suicide after fatally shooting two workers at a Virginia base Thursday night. Officials believe that the shooting was the result of relationship dispute, with the assailant killing a man and a woman before shooting himself. The names of the victims and the shooter are being withheld until the military can notify their next of kin. The shooting took place near the Officer Candidates School at the Quantico, Va. Marine Corps Base, where both victims were members of the staff.
Both military and local police responded to gunshots around 10:30 p.m., finding the body of one of the victims. It wasn’t until 3 a.m. that the other two bodies were found inside of the barracks. Officials denied reports that a standoff with the shooter occurred, but would not specify the delay in finding the bodies.
“There was a lag, but I can’t go into the details about the length of the lag that occurred,” base spokesman Lt. Agustin Solivan said Friday, according to NBC News.
The base was placed on lockdown shortly after the shooting was reported, but returned to normal status early Friday morning. Quantico’s base is located just 37 miles south of Washington, and also hosts the FBI’s training academy. The shooting is believed to be an isolated incident.
“Early this morning, the secretary was saddened to learn of the shootings at Marine Corps Base Quantico,” Defense Department spokesman George Little said in a statement. “His heart and his prayers are with them and their families.”
The Officer Candidates School prepares Marines to enter leadership positions, and students earn the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Officials specified that the three people killed in Thursday shootings were staff members on active duty, but were not enrolled. Residents on the base have been offered the services of chaplains and counselors to help them overcome the tragedy.