The Marine from Colorado found shot to death earlier this month at Camp Pendleton died by suicide, according to KTLA sister station KDVR in Denver.
A medical examiner made the determination that 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz died of a self-inflicted wound, First Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesperson, told KDVR.
Schultz was found with a gunshot wound in the head around 4 a.m. March 15, the Orange County Register reported, but news of the incident only came to light on Tuesday.
The newspaper said Schultz was on guard duty at the time and his body was discovered when his replacement came to relieve him.
Schultz’s mother, Misty Schultz-McCoy, was given a Gold Star and a citation that said her son died while serving his country, according to the Associated Press.
Schultz had wanted to become a Marine since he was a boy, in part because both his grandfathers served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, Schultz-McCoy said.
“All he wanted to do was protect people,” she said.
Memorial services for Schultz will be held April 3 at Camp Pendleton and April 6 in Colorado.