CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – A 19-year-old Marine, Lance Cpl. Austin Schwenk, was tragically killed in his barracks room at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina. Schwenk, who had aspired to emulate his Marine father, was a native of North Carolina but had completed his high school education in Ohio.
The incident occurred on Wednesday night, and it is currently under investigation as a homicide by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). A fellow Marine is being held in military police custody, suspected of involvement in Schwenk’s death. The suspect, who was apprehended around 10:15 p.m. on the night of the shooting, has not yet been identified.
Schwenk joined the Marines in June 2022. He had been assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment at the base. During his life, he expressed his admiration for his father’s service in the Marines and his belief that the discipline and leadership skills he would acquire would serve him well in the future.
The incident was initially misreported as a mass shooting, but officials quickly clarified that it was an isolated event involving two Marines. The base’s spokesperson, 1st Lt. Olivia Giarrizzo, expressed condolences to Schwenk’s family and friends.
The tragic event occurred just two days before the base was scheduled to conduct its annual Exercise Urgent Response training. This exercise is designed to help tenant commands develop and practice emergency security procedures. In 2021, another Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, was shot and injured at Camp Lejeune, but that incident was later determined to be accidental.
Camp Lejeune, located about 140 miles southeast of Raleigh, spans approximately 240 square miles of the North Carolina coast. It is considered to be the largest Marine base located on the east coast, and it is home to the II Marine Expeditionary Force.