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Marine from Colorado found shot at California base ended his life, medical examiner says

Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz, 19, was found with a gunshot wound to the head on March 15.
Credit: Misty Schultz-McCoy
Riley Shultz

SAN DIEGO — A Marine from Colorado who was found dead at Southern California's Camp Pendleton earlier this month ended his life, according to the lead medical examiner.

Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz, 19, was standing watch over his platoon's vehicles and equipment while conducting a field exercise in preparation for a deployment in the early morning hours of March 15. A fellow Marine then found Schultz with a gunshot wound to the head.

RELATED: Marine from Colorado shot, killed while on guard duty at California base

"Our deepest condolences are with Lance Cpl. Schultz’s family, friends, and fellow Marine," the 1st Marine Division said in statement.

Schultz's mom, Misty Schultz-McCoy, said her hope is that people will focus on his life.

"All he wanted to do was protect people," his mother said.

RELATED: You're invited: We need to talk about veteran mental health and suicide

RELATED: Where to find help: suicide prevention for veterans and family members

Schultz's body was flown to Colorado on Thursday for services scheduled for April 6. A memorial service is planned for April 3 at Camp Pendleton. The family has also set up a scholarship fund in honor of Schultz's military service.

The risk for suicide is 22 percent higher among veterans compared to U.S. non-veterans, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. 

The Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255. Press 1 when prompted. You can also send a text message to 838255 or chat online. 

Resources for Veterans in Colorado

Colorado Crisis Services Hotline 1-844-493-TALK

If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. When you call Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master’s or doctoral degree.

Visit coloradocrisisservices.org to find walk-in locations.

Jefferson Center for Mental Health

The Veteran and Military Family Services team provide outpatient counseling for veterans and their family members outside the VA. You can reach them at 303-425-0300.

The Jefferson Center is also part of Colorado Crisis Services. 

Visit: jcmh.org/services/veterans-services

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Contact 303-724-4255. Services are available to veterans and family regardless of discharge status, role while in uniform, combat experience, ability to pay or insurance.

Visit: coloradodepressioncenter.org/mfc

The Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention

The Rocky Mountain MIRECC is a Veterans Affairs research center housed in Denver. The center develops clinical treatments and education materials to prevent veteran suicide.

Visit: mirecc.va.gov/visn19

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