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Sheriff’s Office identifies Beaufort Marine shot Thursday morning

The skies above Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., as seen Oct. 8, 2016.

DENGRIER BAEZ/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By WADE LIVINGSTON AND CAITLIN TURNER | The Island Packet | Published: September 21, 2017

BEAUFORT, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — An active-duty Marine who showed up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s gate early Thursday morning with multiple gunshot wounds has been identified as Sheldon Wayne Harris Jr., according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Corps officials, however, would not confirm the Marine’s name, rank, military occupation or unit, according to Capt. John Roberts of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, who cited privacy policies and the ongoing investigation of the incident.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service Spokesman Ed Buice said the Marine was a male lance corporal, but did not have any additional information.

Harris told investigators he was shot while sitting in his vehicle in the Seabrook area, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

The release said Harris worked the 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. shift at MCAS Beaufort, but later drove to the Fawnwood Lane area to visit a friend and became lost.

“While trying to contact his friend and obtain directions, he saw a black male subject standing at the intersection,” the release said. “As he approached, the subject fired at him several times.”

There was no further description provided of the alleged shooter.

Harris then drove back to the MCAS Beaufort gate where base personnel contacted the Sheriff’s Office and EMS for assistance. The air station and Fawnwood Lane are about 5 miles apart, according to Google Maps — about an 8-minute drive, depending on how fast someone drives.

“At approximately 4 a.m. (Thursday) a U.S. Marine stationed at MCAS Beaufort arrived at the front gate of the air station with multiple gunshot wounds,” air station spokesman Capt. Clayton Groover said in an air station statement Thursday morning. “The Marine was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, is currently in stable condition, and there are no details on the events that led to the incident.”

As of Thursday afternoon, Roberts said he’d seen “no significant updates” to information released by the Corps earlier that morning,

NCIS is assisting the Sheriff’s Office, the agency leading the investigation, Groover said. Buice confirmed that, and said: “Initial indications are the shooting was random but the BCSO is the lead agency and will make that determination.”

Harris was shot in the torso, according to Neill. No suspects have been identified, he said.

Neill said on Thursday morning that Harris’ vehicle has no bullet holes.

“Our priority right now is to provide support for the injured Marine, and our thoughts and prayers are for a full and speedy recovery,” Groover said.

“Safety of our service members and their families is paramount at MCAS Beaufort, and we will continue to support the investigation as we seek clarity on why one of our Marines was injured.”

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