Suicidal Army Cadet Kills 2 Officers Then Self

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN

An 18-year-old army cadet has shot dead two commanding officers before turning his service weapon on himself because “they were bothering him”.

The incident took place at an army training centre in the city of Iquique in the northern Chilean region of Tarapaca where the teenage cadet, identified as Marco Antonio Velasquez Gonzalez, reportedly tried to commit suicide one month previously.

Having been denied sick leave at the time, the teenager went on to kill second sergeant Fernando Zamorano Fuentes, 33, and first corporal Pablo Benavidez Ramirez, 31, before then shooting himself, according to local media.

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Pictures Credit: CEN

The 18-year-old reportedly shot Zamorano Fuentes at least four times and Benavidez Ramirez once before killing himself, according to army sources.

The cadet’s brother Diego Velasquez Gonzalez told local media: “He killed them because they were bothering him.”

He also claimed that his brother recently tried to kill himself and should have been on sick leave, but his superiors “did not want it”.

The brother said that Velasquez Gonzalez was seeing a therapist and had been unfairly punished for his suicide attempt by being confined to the barracks and made to carry out extra duties.

He added: “My brother was on guard with another solider when they were sent somewhere they did not need to go. I understand that he killed them because they were bothering him.”

Chilean Army spokesman Ignacio Garcia Bunster said that the teenager “shot them and then killed himself”, adding that the young cadet only “joined the army in April 2018”.

The army has confirmed that it is investigating the events leading up to the alleged shooting.

Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.