20-year-old Marine from Minnesota killed in New Year's Day shooting at D.C. Marine barracks
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The Marine killed in a New Year’s Day shooting at a barracks in Southeast, D.C. has been identified as 20-year-old Riley Kuznia of Karlstad, Minnesota.
Kuznia was found shot in the head just after 5 a.m. at the Marine barracks in Southeast. He died at the hospital.
Riley's mother, Markelle Kuznia tells FOX 5's Paul Wagner her son was “born to be a soldier" and wanted to serve his country.
There are still many unanswered questions as to what led to Riley Kuznia's death. D.C. police have classified the case as a "death investigation," meaning no foul play is suspected and charges are unlikely.
A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation described the shooting as "possibly negligent horse play."
According to D.C. police, when officers arrived for the call of a shooting, investigators say the first subject was shot and transported to the hospital, and say there was a second subject that had been handling a firearm.
Officials say it happened building number 9 at the Marine barracks in Southeast. D.C. police say they are not investigating any other Marines.
The 20-year-old grew up in the small town of Karlstad, Minn. near the Canadian border, where his mother says he dreamed of joining the Marines.
His mother says ever since he was little, Riley "wanted to serve his country. He wanted to give back, he wanted to join when he was 17 but I wouldn't let him, I said 'You need to do this when you are 18.'"
Markelle Kuznia says so far the Marines have not given the family any details of the shooting.
She says Riley went through boot camp in San Diego before being sent to Virginia. He then interviewed for a position at the Marine Barracks.
"And he goes, mom I have to be a Marine. He goes, 'they are going to push me to my limits, they are going to make me the best that I can be and they are going to be my family."
Markelle Kuznia says her son didn't share many details about his job.
"That was his Marine life and he didn't really disclose a whole lot."
Riley Kuznia told his mother he planned to give five years to the Marines and then start his own construction company.
This is the second shooting at the barracks in the last six months.
A Marine on guard duty near the commandants house shot himself in the stomach last June and survived.
A D.C. police source told FOX 5's Evan Lambert that the incident was an accident, and that it happened during a shift change when weapons are supposed to be unloaded before being passed to the next shift.