Marine NCO Killed by Accidental Discharge While Cleaning His Weapon

Several pieces of gear lay on the floor during the Water Survival Basic Qualification at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, March 27, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Lance Cpl. Christian Garcia)
Several pieces of gear lay on the floor during the Water Survival Basic Qualification at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, March 27, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Lance Cpl. Christian Garcia)

A North Carolina-based Marine corporal died earlier this month after his weapon accidentally discharged while he was cleaning it.

Cpl. Mark A. Scott, an AV-8B Harrier mechanic with Marine Attack Squadron 231, was killed Oct. 20, according to the Naval Safety Center. It was not immediately clear whether the weapon involved in the accident was Scott's service rifle.

First Lt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, declined to provide additional information about the incident as it remains under investigation. The death was first reported by Marine Corps Times.

Scott, 22, died in his home in Havelock, North Carolina, according to his obituary. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from Manchester High School in Georgia. He was based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and deployed to the Middle East from December 2016 to May 2017 with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command.

He was an active member of his church, where he served as an usher and Sunday school teacher, his obituary states. He was married to Sydney Scott and is also survived by his parents, three sisters and two brothers. Members of Scott's family could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Marine Corps' Safety Division reported 54 negligent discharges between 2013 and 2018. Thirty-six of those occurred while Marines were on duty and 18 while they were off. At least six were fatal.

Col. Byron Sullivan, the Safety Division's director, issued a directive Oct. 17 to inform Marines about the threat of negligent discharges. It warns that the severity of off-duty mishaps is often greater than those that occur while Marines are on duty.

Funeral services for Scott are scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ginaaharkins.

Show Full Article