CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Marine Corps leaders are reportedly still in shock over a Barracks Duty Noncommissioned Officer’s impressive logbook entries during yesterday’s tragic mass-shooting at a Marine barracks aboard Camp Lejeune.
The Marine Corps identified Cpl. Peter Sewell, a 3051 Warehouse Clerk from Springfield, MA, as the “heroic” Barrracks Duty.
Maj. Gary McDougall, a spokesman for Camp Lejeune, said, “Cpl. Sewell had been posted on duty since 7 a.m. for what looked like another routine tour of sweeping and mopping the floor, as well as kicking the odd stripper out of the barracks.”
According to Sewell’s logbook entries, at precisely 1702 hours an unidentified person arrived and began to open fire at Marines in the barracks smoke pit, immediately followed by an entry noting the smoke pit not been properly police-called.
McDougall praised Sewell's quick and immediate thinking.
“Cpl. Sewell displayed all the training and initiative we expect from our Barracks Duty NCO’s," McDougall told reporters. "As soon as the shooting began, he sprinted over to the gunman to demand his ID card and sign him into the visitors log.”
Sewell was eventually found by paramedics, clutching his logbook while managing to keep it free from any blood stains. Paramedics confirmed that he refused medical treatment until all emergency personnel were properly signed in.
During the entire incident, the Officer of the Day was at the chow hall, where it was reported the food was of sufficient quality and quantity.
McDougall notes, “Thanks to Sewell’s meticulous attention to detail, investigators have an extremely accurate picture of the incident, from the moment the shooting began to the dust bunnies Sewell noticed on the floor after diving under the desk.”
Base officials have also praised Sewell's company gunnery sergeant for his quick response in getting Marines on line to police brass at the crime scene as well as confiscating a 12-pack of beer from a nearby private.
“The whole team really came together during this crisis,” said McDougall. “We wouldn’t have wanted any of the emergency services personnel to think our unit lived in a shit house.”
McDougall said the shooter remains at-large after a base wide manhunt by the Provost Marshall Office had not located the shooter, but confirmed the duty desk's lack of electronic media devices and presence of books from the Commandant’s reading list, both of which were integral to Sewell’s ability to accurately record the event.
He also showed reporters Sewell's professional handwriting in all caps, such as his entry at 17:14 when he logged, "DUTY NCO OFF DECK. PLEASE GOD I DON'T WANT TO DIE.”
Unit leaders have said they plan to decorate Sewell with a Navy Achievement Medal for heroism, although not until he completes a missing gear statement for his duty belt, which disappeared during the incident.
As of press time, Sewell was unavailable for comment, as he continued to hobble around his post on crutches in a military manner and had still not been properly relieved.
Duffel Blog Investigative Reporter Lee Ho Fuk also contributed to this report.