Officials from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are looking into to what led to the fatal stabbing of a Marine at the base’s School of Infantry.
Another Marine is being held in a jail on base in connection with the fatal stabbing.
The stabbing happened Tuesday, Jan. 16, and left Marine Private First Class Ethan Andrew Barclay-Weberpal, 18, dead at the scene, said Capt. Joshua Pena, from the U.S. Marine Corps Training Command in Quantico, Va. First responders were called to Area 52 near the north end of the base at 7:45 a.m. after reports of an injured person.
Barclay-Weberpal, of Janesville, Wis., was assigned to Lima Company, Headquarters and Services Battalion at SOI-West. He had enlisted in the Marine Corps in July and was awarded the National Defense Ribbon.
“It’s with excruciating sadness and tears in my eyes that I’m writing this — my only son, my own blood, Marine PFC Ethan Andrew Barclay-Weberpal, was killed yesterday morning at Camp Pendleton, CA,” Scott Weberpal wrote Wednesday on his Facebook page. “He was stabbed by another Marine.”
The name of the Marine in confinement, assigned to the same unit, will not be released at this time, Pena said.
Since news of the stabbing, Scott Weberpal has received thousands of messages of support on Facebook, he said.
“Some Marines, veterans have said they hope it doesn’t tarnish my view of the Marine Corps, of what they are and what they stand for,” said Weberpal, 36. “And it hasn’t.”
It was those values that Weberpal was most proud of and what he believes his only son stood for.
“When I went to Perris Island for his graduation, it was the proudest moment I’ve had, second to the day he was born,” Weberpal said. “Knowing what he went through, the determination, the will he had to serve and knowing that the Marine Corps was the most difficult branch and that he pursued his dream.”
Even at age 10, Barclay-Weberpal had plans to serve in a military branch, his father said Thursday. An aunt served in the Army, another aunt served in the Air Force and his grandfather was a Marine.
“Military service was something he looked up to,” Weberpal said. “He also had a very strong faith. He felt this is what God wanted him to do. He was committed to serving our country.”
Barclay-Weberpal, who played baseball, football and basketball, got into the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program as a junior. He graduated from Michigan’s Almont High School in May, turned 18 on July 10 and shipped off to boot camp on July 17.
Monday, Jan. 15, was the last time Weberpal spoke to his son.
“He was excited to get his orders and was thinking he might go to do fire and rescue training next,” Weberpal said. “He never got the actual order because of the incident.”
What is most difficult for Weberpal and his family, he said, is not knowing why and how Barclay-Weberpal died.
“We know there were other Marines around him,” he said. “We don’t know how it happened. That’s the rough part. You want to know what happened to your child.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to establish a scholarship in Barclay-Weberpal’s name.
Weberpal said he is awaiting news from NCIS investigators who as of now have not filed charges.
Barclay-Weberpal is the second Camp Pendleton Marine stabbed to death in the last four weeks.
Lance Cpl. Ryan Harris, 21, of Elverta in Northern California, who served with the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, was fatally stabbed Dec. 29 in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter as he tried to break up a fight.
The two suspects in Harris’ death — Jose Oscar Esqueda, 30, and Jeff Shai Holliday, 24, both of San Diego — have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with Harris and three other victims. They are expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 25 and are being held without bail.
© 2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
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