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Scholarship to honor Mississippi Marine killed in Virginia base shootings

The family of a North Mississippi Marine killed last week by a fellow Marine at a Virginia base is establishing a scholarship in his honor at Mississippi State University.

The Jacob Wooley Memorial Scholarship will be "a way to establish a legacy for Jacob because he loved Mississippi State, especially Mississippi State football," his mother, Linda Wooley, said in a statement.

Wooley, 23, of Guntown, died March 21 at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley, Calif., and Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, of Pacifica, Calif., died along with Wooley, a corporal.

Authorities say Lopez shot Wooley and Castromata before turning the gun on himself. A motive has not been released.

The three Marines worked at a school that tests Marines wanting to become officers. After the March 21 shootings, the bodies were found in the Taylor Hall barracks, where those who work at the school live.

Wooley's mother described her son, who will be buried Monday in Corinth, as a "rare gift."

"Jacob had a rare gift for making those around him feel special," she said. "Jacob was quick to defend anyone who was being threatened or mistreated, and he became a Marine to defend his country."

The scholarship being established at Mississippi State will be administered by the John Stallworth Foundation in Huntsville, Ala., which was established in 1980 to offer scholarship assistance to academically gifted students at Alabama A&M. The foundation has since expanded to other universities.

Donations may be made through johnstallworth.com, where an application form is available, or by contacting the foundation at 200 Pratt Avenue, Suite B-2, Hunstville, Ala., 35801.

A visitation for Wooley will be held 5-9 p.m. Sunday at Magnolia Funeral Home in Corinth and will continue Monday at the Church of the Crossroads from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by the funeral at 1 at the church. Internment will be at Valley of the Dogwood Cemetery in Corinth.

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