TORONTO (AP) -- A U.S. Marine who fatally shot himself after sneaking into Canada had served two terms in Iraq, officials said Saturday.
Timothy Scott, 22, had been wanted by the military for abandoning his unit. He turned a pistol on himself Thursday outside his mother's home in Nova Scotia after police tried to talk him out of firing the gun.
A statement released by Camp Lejeune in North Carolina said Scott had been deployed to Iraq for eight months in 2007 and for seven months in 2008.
The Marine rifleman, who was assigned to headquarters and the support battalion at Camp Lejeune, had joined the Marine Corps in 2005, the statement said.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Scott, who left his unit sometime around Feb. 10, arrived at his mother's home on Feb. 12 and initially threatened her before turning the gun on himself.
Cpl. Melissa McCoy, a Marine spokeswoman at Camp Lejeune, said Scott had been listed as leaving the unit in what the military called an "unauthorized absence," meaning he had been away from the base for less than 30 days. After that, he would be considered a deserter.
Top senators on the Veterans Affairs Committee have asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to convene a joint oversight committee meeting to address military suicides. The U.S. Army had its highest rate of suicide on record in 2008.
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