Marine under investigation in death of Boston college student identified
By STEFAN GELLER | The Boston Herald | Published: November 7, 2019
BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves have identified the Marine allegedly involved in the death 19-year-old Emerson College student Daniel J. Hollis, who suffered a fatal brain injury in a late-night fight in Allston, Mass. over a month ago.
Lance Cpl. Samuel London, a reservist in the 25th Marine Regiment based at Fort Devens, is in the process of being removed from the Corps, according to Lt. Heather Chairez, a spokeswoman for the Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans.
“The Marine Corps is aware of the circumstances surrounding Lance Cpl. Samuel London,” Chairez said in a statement. “The charges against him are very serious, and local authorities continue to have our full cooperation.”
By being processed for “administrative separation,” London’s command is separating him from the Corps through an administrative, non-judicial process.
Chairez did not clarify what charges London is facing.
Hollis died Oct. 2 after spending several days on life support. Family members said he was leaving a party with friends when he was confronted by another group of college-age men. Tensions escalated and a fight ensued. According to a statement from his family, they believe Hollis was punched and his head then hit the pavement.
Less than a week after Hollis was taken off life support, the Marine Corps released a statement saying a Marine on leave was involved in the incident.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that an off-base incident allegedly involving one of our Marines has led to the passing of a man in the Boston community,’’ the Corps said in a statement in October. “The event occurred during an approved leave period for the Marine, in the early hours of Sept. 28, 2019. This is a tragic event and is being treated with great care and solemnity on the part of the command.”
Boston Police would not confirm or deny the statement made by the Marine Corps, stating they could not comment on an active investigation. No arrests have been made.
London was previously called up to active duty, on pre-deployment leave at the time of the incident, according to Col. Theodore Wong, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps.
A friend on Hollis’ lacrosse team, who was also punched during the altercation, told the Herald that Hollis was trying to stop the fight from happening when he was knocked down and left comatose.
“He was trying to mediate and get tensions down,” Hollis’ lacrosse teammate told the Herald on Oct. 1, his bottom lip still swollen and scabbed over from the fight. As a victim and witness to a crime, the teammate’s name is being withheld by the Herald.
The teammate said the men who attacked them claimed to be University of Massachusetts Boston students and were acting as if they were “looking for a fight.”
“We called the cops, who were there almost immediately, but the guys darted away fast,” Hollis’ teammate said.
The Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office are investigating Hollis’ death as a homicide.