A San Diego-based Marine and an unidentified woman were killed in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday night, the Marine Corps has confirmed.
Sgt. Massamba Diatta, 29, and the 23-year-old woman were discovered by police inside their Houston hotel room after authorities were tipped off by an individual assigned to Diatta’s unit who notified them of “disturbing information” being posted by the Marine on social media, Lt. Larry Crowson told the Houston Chronicle.
The caller told authorities the Marine, who was assigned to recruiting school at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, could be suicidal and was likely accompanied by a woman and a child.
Authorities found both Diatta and the woman with fatal gunshot wounds. The 4-year-old child was found wandering around the premises.
It’s believed that the child witnessed the incident, Crowson told the Chronice, before going to the hotel’s front desk to tell the attendant a man had shot his mother.
Why they were in Houston remains unclear.
“Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the families of all involved during this difficult time,” an MCRD San Diego official said in an email to Marine Corps Times. “We are cooperating with civilian and military authorities during the investigation to collect all the details of the incident.”
Diatta was an 0311 infantryman who enlisted in April 2013.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.