Ohio Marine 'accidentally' shoots himself in the chest


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braindead0
April 4, 2003, 08:02 AM
From: the Canton Repository (http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?Category=13&ID=92957&r=7)

Ohio Marine dies after shot by own gun
Friday, April 4, 2003
By JOHN SEEWER Associated Press writer

VAN WERT — A 19-year-old Ohio Marine was killed Wednesday in Iraq when his gun accidentally fired and he was hit in the chest, the military said Thursday.

Marine Pfc. Christian Daniel Gurtner, of nearby Ohio City, was engaged in combat when the accident happened early Wednesday morning, said Marine Chief Warrant Officer Suzanne Handshoe. She did not know where in Iraq he was killed. Gurtner is the first Ohio military member reported killed in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Eryck Little, who recruited Gurtner and is serving as a family spokesman, read a short statement from the family.

“He was proud and believed in what he was doing. He wanted the Iraqis to have the same privileges as we Americans,” the statement said.

Gurtner was an infantry scout assigned to the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He joined the Marines in June, the same month he graduated from Van Wert High School.

“He was a typical Marine,” said Little. “He was young, motivated, hard-charging. He was the type of guy who stepped up to the plate to a challenge.”

About a dozen cars were parked along the street outside the home of Gurtner’s parents, Gary and Eldona Wagonrod. Friends and family members who gathered on the lawn said no one was ready to talk.

Little said Gurtner was single and had a 2-month-old daughter. His mother wears his dog tags and boot camp pin, he said.

He arrived in Kuwait in February, and his family had not talked to him since he left, but received a letter from him a couple weeks ago, Little said.

Neighbors who gathered in a garage across the street from the Wagonrods said Gurtner’s mother asked them not to comment.

A homemade sign hung from the Wagonrod’s porch that read “Support Our Troops,” and yellow ribbons were tied around the posts and trees. Ohio City is a small farming community with no stoplights and a water tower with an American flag painted on it.

Little said he expected Gurtner’s body to be brought back for a funeral in about two weeks.

Van Wert Superintendent Cathy Hoffman said Gurtner was “a great kid, the kind of kid you’d want to see walking the halls of any high school.”

Counselors were on hand at the school, where students were notified Thursday afternoon and observed a moment of silence.

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Kharn
April 4, 2003, 08:09 AM
This might have been the soldier originally reported as shot in the chest by an AD while sleeping with his M249. I wouldnt want to sleep with an open-bolt belt fed in my sleeping bag.

Kharn

braindead0
April 4, 2003, 08:33 AM
According to one of the guys at work, the late news reported that he shot himself with his service rifle.... of course this is the media we're talking about.

Leatherneck
April 4, 2003, 09:07 AM
Kharn,
Could have been a case of "If I don't grab a few winks right now, I'll pass out." Fatigue can make you stupid.

TC
TFL Survivor

beckrodgers
April 5, 2003, 12:31 PM
Should we donate to the M C Relief fund or strait to the families of our Marines? In the after math of all the fraud after Sept 11 -01.

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