OCEANSIDE, CA — Sometimes police solve crime, and sometimes they prevent it. However, on Tuesday night Camp Pendleton Military Police and Oceanside Police averted a tragedy by doing neither. That's because at approximately 8:00 p.m. Private Jeffery Matthew Saunders surrendered himself to police after having a self-described "killing-spree fantasy."
Police say Saunders described his fantasy in detail in a written confession and, since no actual crime was committed, provided Duffel Blog with a few excerpts. [Duffel Blog did not receive portions of the confession that actually describe the killings.]
From the report:
"It was like the fifth fucking time Staff Sergeant Kensington asked me about those fucking 'TPS Reports,' from that stupid fucking movie. He thinks it's funny, but the truth is everyone just laughs to keep him off their ass. Then he put me on weekend duty, again! And he knows my girlfriend was coming in from Sacramento that weekend."
Saunders went on to describe a deep founded hate for the way his officer-in-charge laughs when talking with other basic school graduates on the phone, and commented on how sure he is one of the female sergeants who had a kid last year is over her allowed weight. Although Saunders has never been charged with any other crimes, such as assaulting any of his co-workers, his depiction of taking action was quite graphic.
"I imagined kicking the fat chick in the stomach first. Then I went to the broom closet and grabbed the mop that should be hanging outside on the fucking mop rack, and I thrust it into Staff Sergeant's throat. 'Here's your fucking TPS Report fuckhead!?' I'd tell him."
Saunders imagined several other confrontations with his commanding officer, the guy with the high-and-tight that always runs past his building at lunch, and his officer-in-charge who he described as receiving the "real brunt" of his anger. In the end, however, Saunders described himself as feeling extremely guilty for imagining such violence and decided to turn himself in. That's when military police responded to Saunders' barracks room and escorted him in under self-detainment. After a three-hour debriefing, Oceanside Police released Saunders on his own recognizance.
Now the U.S. Marine Corps is struggling with what to do with Saunders.
"On one hand, we applaud the Marine for demonstrating such restraint," explained Col. Steven Knight, commanding officer for Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division. "On the other hand, we're troubled by his inability to follow through with what seems to be a fairly good plan."
"Our aim is to ensure this Marine has continued supervision and some remediation on basic Marine skills, so at this point we've decided to return him to his unit under the close supervision of his staff sergeant and officer-in-charge."
Knight made it clear that until Saunders commits an actual crime, he is to be treated the same as every other Marine. However, he did allude to the possibility of taking him out with a drone strike.