Feds Duck Suit Over 2013 Quantico Shooting

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A federal magistrate threw out an attempt to blame Quantico’s Marine Corps Base for a double-murder and suicide in the barracks.
     The carnage occurred on March 21, 2013 — about four months after Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata ended a brief intimate relationship with Sgt. Eusebio Lopez.
     The complaint says Lopez texted Castromata on March 21 about wanting to kill himself.
     That night Lopez found Castromata in her room with her new boyfriend, Cpl. Jacob Wooley, and he shot them both to death, then shot himself.
     Castromata’s father, Isaac Castro, brought a complaint in January against the United States, saying the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., did not review Lopez’s medical records or continue his treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder after he was transferred there.
     Command staff also failed to store Lopez’s personal shotgun and semi-automatic pistol at the armory, as required by Marine Corps policy, even though they knew he wanted to commit suicide, Castro said.
     U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James dismissed the case with prejudice Tuesday, however, citing precedent that civilian courts lack subject-matter jurisdiction to review military decisions.
     “When it comes to assessing whether and how to enforce military orders and rules, permitting a suit on such grounds directly implicates the concern about second-guessing military decisions,” the ruling states.
     According to the suit, Lopez had documented head trauma and PTSD following three tours in Iraq.
     Castromata’s father says the man was supposed to transfer to Quantico from Camp Lejeune, N.C., to attend recruiter school but was reassigned to the Officer Candidates School at Quantico in March 2012 after failing a mental health screening.
     The complaint says four hours elapsed after the shooting before Quantico provided the shooting victims with emergency medical attention. Civilian authorities were not called for help.
     U.S. Attorney spokesman Abraham Simmons said his office could not comment on the dismissal because it could be appealed but said that “the order speaks for itself.”
     Quantico did not return phone and email requests for comment on Wednesday morning, nor did Christopher Kannady, the attorney for Castro.

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