Lance Corporal Who Died in Shooting at Marine Barracks Washington Identified

Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia (Facebook Photo)
Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia (Facebook Photo)

The Marine Corps has identified a 20-year-old lance corporal as the Marine who died as the result of a gunshot wound at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., on New Year's Day.

Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia, from Karlstad, Minnesota, was pronounced dead Jan. 1 following a 5 a.m. incident involving a weapon. Kuznia was assigned to Guard Company, where he served as a team leader, according to the service.

"We are truly saddened by this terrible loss. Riley was a highly driven and goal-oriented Marine whose positive attitude set the example here at the barracks," said Col. Don Tomich, commanding officer at 8th and I. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Riley's family and friends, and our priority continues to be taking care of them during this tragic time."

Marine officials said Tuesday that the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department had responded to the scene and was investigating the incident. A barracks spokeswoman, Capt. Colleen McFadden, told Task & Purpose on Tuesday that the "command and the Marines were cooperating with the investigation team."

She declined to say whether foul play is suspected or if the shooting may have been the result of an accidental discharge. In June, a Marine suffered non-threatening injuries as the result of an intentional self-inflicted gunshot while standing guard at the base.

Marine Barracks Washington communications chief Gunnery Sgt. John Jackson confirmed Wednesday that Kuznia's fatal wound was not self-inflicted.

Kuznia's mother, Markelle Kuznia, announced her son's death on her Facebook page Tuesday evening.

"With broken hearts, we lost a loving son, cherished brother and dedicated Marine," she wrote. "Please use his Facebook account to share all the amazing memories you shared with this goofy kid. Semper Fidelis."

Riley Kuznia graduated from Tri-County High School in Karlstad in 2017.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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