Marine in DC may have been playing 'trust' game when shot

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 8:07am

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Authorities are investigating the possibility that a Marine was playing a "trust" game when he shot and killed himself at the historic Marine Barracks in Washington.

Lance Cpl. Cody Schoenfelder, 19, of Huron, South Dakota, died early on Saturday at a local hospital, the Marines said in a statement, noting the fatal injuries sustained about 6 p.m. on Friday were self-inflicted.

A Defense Department official told CNN that Schoenfelder shot himself in the head.

The official confirmed that at least one other Marine was present when the incident occurred.

Police investigators have questioned Marines and other witnesses in the case.

The early 19th century Marine Barracks, also known as "8th & I," is the oldest active post in the Corps. It is home to a number of units, including the Marine Band and the Marine Corps Color Guard.

While those Marines are not allowed to have loaded weapons in the barracks, a defense official said Schoenfelder was an infantry rifleman, assigned as a guard.

"While they're on duty standing guard, those Marines are required to have their weapons on their person at all times," the official said.

The Marines did not say whether Schoenfelder was on guard duty at the time of the shooting.

The "trust game" appeared in Iraq and Afghanistan, although it violates military rules on weapons handling.

It is supposed to involve one party pointing an unloaded weapon at another and asking something to the effect of "do you trust me?"

The one holding the gun will either lower it or pull the trigger.

There have been reports of previous incidents going awry and resulting in accidental shooting deaths.

Schoenfelder had never been deployed, the official said.

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