The death of Riley Schultz is still being investigated by the United States Marine Corp. The 19-year-old lance corporal was found dead on March 15 at his guard post at Camp Pendelton in San Diego from an apparent gunshot wound to the head, according to the Daily Mail.
A memorial service will be held for Schultz on April 3 at Camp Pendelton where he lost his life. His body will then be flown to Colorado, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, for a service on April 6.
Initially, it was believed that Schultz may have committed suicide.
“They thought it was suicide. The next day they acted differently and said there would be an official memorial because they did not believe he committed suicide,” his mother, Misty Schultz-McCoy said, via KTLA 5.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Marine Corp continue to investigate his death.
Schultz enrolled in the Marine Corp when he was just 17-years-old, following in the footsteps of his grandfathers who had served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
His mother recalled Schultz’s enthusiasm for the armed forces.
“He just loved the whole idea of being a Marine,” she told the Denver Post. “That was his only plan for after high school. I was worried, but that’s what he wanted to do. He was so dedicated to it. It never occurred to me that he could die before he left for deployment.”
His grandmother, Kathleen Schultz, echoed his mother’s words.
“He absolutely loved it,” Schultz said. “When he was here just after Christmas, that is all he could talk about. He wanted to serve his country and help people. He was really looking forward to being deployed.”
During his brief time in the Marines, Schultz was excelling. He had earned his medal for marksmanship and was invited to join the Marine Corps’ competitive shooting team.