A 20-year-old U.S. Marine from Minnesota was killed in a shooting at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., his mother said Wednesday.
Markelle Kuznia told The Associated Press that the military notified her late Tuesday that her son, Riley Kuznia, died early that morning. Kuznia said the military has not provided her with details of her son’s death.
The U.S. Marine Corps said in a statement that the shooting was under investigation and that there was no danger to local residents “as the event transpired within the grounds of Marine Barracks 8th and I.” Marine Corps spokesman Chief Gunnery Sgt. John Jackson said the wound “was not self-inflicted.”
Through her tears, Kuznia said her son felt it was his duty to serve.
“He just wanted to serve. Ever since he was little, he talked about being a soldier,” Kuznia said from her home in Karlstad, a community of about 800 people in northwestern Minnesota.
Kuznia joined the Marines after graduating from Tri-County High School in 2017, she said.
Riley Kuznia had his life planned out, his mother said.
“When he got out (of the military), he was going to start his own construction business. He said he wanted to give five years to his country,” she said. He planned to marry his high school girlfriend, she added.
“He loved to hunt and fish. He always wanted a cabin on a lake with a boat,” his mother said. “He was just a good kid.”
Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz tweeted his sympathies to the Marine’s family Wednesday.
“We are forever grateful for your service to our state and our country,” Walz said. “May your family find peace and strength in outpouring of love and support from the community.”