OAKLEY, Calif. (AP) – A Marine from Northern California who was shot and killed at a base in Virginia was remembered by loved ones as a brave woman who was full of dreams.
Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley joined the Marines because she believed it was the toughest military branch and she was a tough girl, her family told reporters on Sunday.
Now, devastated loved ones are making arrangements to bring her body back home to prepare for a funeral.
“I cannot believe it, you don’t want to believe it,” her older sister, Gabriela Castro, 30, told KGO-TV.
Officials say Castromata was killed Thursday by Sgt. Eusebio Lopez of Pacifica, Calif., at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico in northern Virginia.
Lopez also fatally shot Jacob Wooley of Guntown, Miss., a field radio operator, before killing himself, officials said.
The three people worked at a school that tests Marines who want to become officers, but officials have not released their relationship or a motive for the shooting. Their bodies were found in Taylor Hall barracks, where those who work at the school live. The candidates for officer live elsewhere on base.
On Sunday, Castromata’s family struggled to make sense of the shooting as they gathered at her home, lighting candles around her military portrait and a bouquet of yellow roses.
“She knew how to comfort people,” Gabriela Castro said. “She was brave … full of dreams.”
Castromata’s stunned family told the Bay Area News Group that she was friends with Lopez, 25, but they had not heard of Wooley, who was 23.
Castromata enlisted in the Marines in 2011, the same year she graduated from high school with honors. She joined the military so she could pay her own way through college, even though her father wanted to pay for it, her family said.
After completing boot camp in South Carolina, Castromata was stationed at Quantico. Although she had not been deployed, Castromata _ whose last name is combination of her parents’ surnames _ had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them