Dad: Son overcame physical hurdles to join Marines
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Marine shot this week at Camp Lejeune, N.C., had to overcome physical hurdles to join his twin brother and another sibling in the Marine Corps.
Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf died after a single gunshot wound to the chest while on watch at the main entrance to the sprawling base, the Marine Corps said in a statement late Wednesday. No charges have been filed, and the Pentagon said the shooting appears to have been an accident.
The second of seven brothers and three sisters, Boterf underwent surgery to correct a hernia and then pushed himself to pass the fitness tests the Marine Corps requires of candidates.
"He excelled at the (physical) standards. It is three pull-ups; he could do 20. To be able to do that, so quickly after surgery, he made an example," his twin brother Michael Stephen told The Associated Press in a phone call Thursday.
His father, Aubrey Boterf, said the 21-year-old had a "giving heart, was a cheerful person and loved God."
Born Dec. 18, 1992, in Amory, Miss., Boterf moved to Crowley, Texas, with his family in 2012. He joined the Marines in August of that year.
He joined the 2nd Radio Battalion in 2013, served as a special intelligence system communicator and was promoted to his current rank on Oct. 1, 2013. He was on temporary assignment as a sentry.
His brother said Boterf was paying his own way through college so he could be on the same education level as his peers in the 2nd Radio Battalion.
Michael said his brother was a selfless man. "He would do anything for anything for anyone," he said. "No matter what it was, if you needed it, he'd do it for you."
Camp Lejeune spokesman Capt. Joshua Smith said Wednesday that a Marine colleague discharged a single shot from his M4 rifle in a guard shack at the main base entrance Tuesday and remains in custody. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating.
The name of the shooter, who is male, hasn't been released. No charges have been filed at this time. Other guards were at the gate, but no one else was hurt, officials said.
Indications point to a "negligent discharge" as the cause of Boterf's death, Department of Defense spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren told reporters.
Emergency personnel attempted to revive Boterf, but he was later pronounced dead at a base hospital.