POLICE: Marine Shoots, Kills Other Marine After "Friendly Discussion"

By: Michael Baldwin
By: Michael Baldwin

One Marine from Cherry Point is facing charges, while another is dead after a shooting at a Havelock home.

Havelock police say Corporal Jonathan Rodriguez was shot in the shoulder/chest area early Sunday morning at 142A Witten Circle.

Lionel Loya has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death.

Police say a preliminary investigation shows Loya and Rodriguez were friends and assigned to the same unit at Cherry Point. Police say Rodriguez would occasionally stay at Loya's home. They say during a friendly discussion over a sports event, Loya showed a weapon and the two become involved in a scuffle and the firearm discharged.

The .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the home.

After an investigation and interviewing two other people in the home when the shooting took place, police consulted with the district attorney on what charges should be brought.

Relatives tell WITN News that Jonathan Rodriguez had been a Marine since May 2007 and was set to deploy at the end of the month or early next month.

Cherry Point says Rodriguez was an aircraft electrical systems technician.

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Havelock police are investigating the shooting death of a Marine based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

Police Chief Wayne Cyrus told WITN it appears at this time the fatal shooting was accidental.

A family member has identified the Marine killed Sunday morning in Havelock.

Relatives tell WITN News that Jonathan Rodriguez had been a Marine for the past 2-1/2 years and was set to deploy at the end of the month or early next month.

Rodriguez was 21-years-old and is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister. Relatives say they are devastated by the news and have many questions about what happened.

Lionel Loya has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. He went before a district court judge Monday morning for his first court appearance. Loya was released from jail on bond.

Early reports indicated police were investigating a murder. The shooting was reported on Witten Circle around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

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Authorities in Havelock are investigating a murder that happened Sunday morning.

A police spokesperson would not release the name of the victim citing next of kin notification.

WITN has learned the murder happened on Witten Circle and an arrest has been made.

The details are sparse but we do know it involved the shooting of another person.

Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus is expected to release more information sometime Monday morning.

Stay logged on to WITN.com and WITN-TV for all the latest information.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Marine Family Location: Honolulu on Mar 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM
    My son is in Afghanistan and sent this story to me. Our hearts and prayers are with both families.
  • by Daniel Location: Lexington Park, MD on Dec 16, 2009 at 04:57 PM
    The both families, I personally trained both Marines and spent time with them both at work and outside of work before I separated from the Marines last summer. They both have their heads on straight and I truly believe with all of my heart that it was an accident. My condolences to the Rodriguez family. Loya no matter what happens you keep your head up and keep moving forward. Semper Fi.
  • by Mother of a Marine Location: North Carolina on Dec 8, 2009 at 06:44 PM
    To both of these Marines families, you are in my thoughts and prayers. As a parent of a Marine myself we never know. These guys do suffer from so much and unfortunately the Corp doesn't help. To Loya, my prayers are with you! To all the Service men and woman, THANK YOU for what you are doing! So many don't know what it's like to have your loved one so many miles away at Christmas or any holiday! To Rodriquez family, hold on to your strength. God will see you through.
  • by An Old Friend Location: Austin, TX on Dec 8, 2009 at 04:39 PM
    Q-2 Marine - I'm glad you think you know everything because you are a Marine, but nothing makes what that guy did right. For those of us who knew JR we are angry, hurt, and not ready to forgive a man who took one of the greatest guys in our life away from us, so until you are ready to see it as a normal citizen and loving friend, YOU should keep your comments to yourself. THANKS! If you don't feel like doing that be respectful to those of us who are hurting. And PLEASE don't try to feed your ignorant comments to us! Let him RIP if you want to choose to be narrow-minded.
  • by Q-2 Marine Location: Cherry Point on Dec 8, 2009 at 07:19 AM
    First of All (Endurance Swimmer) Your probably one of the most ignorant people when it comes to the Military. No one was suffering from PTSS or PTSD. We have been back from deployment for awhile now. That has nothing do do with the incident and for the story. We are not set to deploy next month. We are set to deploy end of Apr. Loya would not shoot anyone on purpose. I have know him for awhile now and if your not in the Marines then you have no clue what us going on then you need to keep your comments to yourself.
  • by best friend Location: sinton/jacksonville on Dec 8, 2009 at 05:53 AM
    clint was an awesome friend brother son and marine... please dont post negative comments about his death... yea it should of never happened but it did so let it be... and all u guys that say u knew jr.. u knew him as a marine not as a kid or teenager or ur best friend so dont post comments like u knew the entire person he was... everyone appreciates ur sadness and respect but just pray for him and his family and let him R.I.P...
  • by Endurance Swimmer Location: Greenville on Dec 7, 2009 at 10:39 PM
    This story is tragic, I saw this on the WB news at 10:00 pm. Does anyone know if Loya served in Iraq or was suffering from PTSS? Seems like marines are killing other marines, wives, girlfriends,etc...
  • by A Close Friend Location: New Bern on Dec 7, 2009 at 06:41 PM
    Its so odd seeing what you believe when you see stories in the news until you are put in a place where they are actually people you know and what you know about them both Rodriguez was a great guy and So was Loya I know from experience dont say stupid rude comments about "wait to go over seas and shoot someone" and he wasnt a fellow soldier he was a MARINE we are held to a much higher standard Dont be so idiotic to to believe everything you read and stop acting like you know what your talking about unless you know the individuals if you knew them you would know no matter what especially when ones like your brother and you push their buttons and Loya wasnt the one to argue or fight hes broken up many fights and calmed people down my being one of them so dont assume you know everything because many times you are so so wrong Im not saying it was ok im very sad about the passing of our friend rodriguez but no matter what I know the truth the two of them were peanut butter and jelly
  • by Leatherneck Location: Sinton on Dec 7, 2009 at 05:25 PM
    My condolences go out to all of CPL Rodriguez family and friends. As a fellow marine and Sinton native this story really breaks my heart, NO ONE deserves to go out this way. I can't stop thinking of what could of gone on in that room for this to happnen. Was Loya an Iraq Veteran? What ever happened to Band of Brothers? Troop Welfare? Your 4 weapons safety rules? All I do know is that CPL Rodriquez will now be put on post and the gates of heaven, rest in peace MARINE and Semper Fi.
  • by anonymous on Dec 7, 2009 at 04:50 PM
    to cory, chris, & danielle his grandparents rosa,olga, jose, & victor. his mom cindy and dad jerry. his aunts, uncles, & cousins on both sides my heart goes out to you and all the surrounding communities and people who had a chance to really cherish this wonderful life we had w/ him. He was truly a diamond in the rough. Everybody helped make this kid who he was by the footprints they imprinted in him and showed the way with guidance and patience and understanding and most of all with love. Not just one person made him who he was everyone had a part in it. He was a truly blessed kid for the love he recieved from each and everyone of us. You had the most amazing laugh b/c u did it w/ ur soul, the greatest cheesiest smile i will never forget, a great sense of humor, and this wonderful aora that if someone was around you they could feel it to. you were full love of love and happiness and made everyone around u feel special. we will miss you so much!!! May God Bless and Take Care all of u!!!
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