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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Marine Base Blamed|for Triple Killing

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Quantico Marine Corps base's failure to monitor a mentally ill sergeant allowed him to kill his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and himself in the barracks, the late woman's father claims in Federal Court.

Isaac Castro sued the United States on behalf of his late daughter Sara Castromata's estate, claiming the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. mishandled the medical records and weapons of Sgt. Eusebio Lopez.

Lopez, who had documented head trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, was transferred to Quantico, Va. from Camp Lejeune, N.C. in May 2012. Castro claims the Quantico base never obtained or reviewed Lopez's medical records, and that the sergeant stopped receiving treatment for his mental disability as a result.

Lopez moved into Quantico barracks in September 2012, but base command did not ensure that his weapons were registered and stored at the armory, Castro says. His weapons included a semi-automatic pistol, a shotgun and several large knives.

Lopez and Castromata had a "brief, intimate relationship" that ended that November, Castro says.

On March 21, 2013, Lopez sent Castromata text messages indicating he was planning to commit suicide. Castromata warned the sentry on duty to look out for Lopez and to take his keys and gun, but the sentry did not notify the chain of command or document the warning, according to the lawsuit.

Lopez approached the sentry that day and lied that he was locked out, to get the master key to the barracks, Castro says. Lopez then returned his own room key instead of the master key, according to the complaint.

By this time, Castromata was dating Cpl. Jacob Wooley, and that evening they went to Wooley's room to watch a movie. Lopez came in at around 10 p.m., then shot to death Wooley, Castromata and himself, Castro says.

He seeks more than $75,000 in damages for negligence, plus costs of suit.

The Quantico public affairs office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on Friday afternoon.

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