The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

March 25, 2013

Shooting victim was churchgoing

CORINTH, Miss. — A Marine who was shot to death at a Virginia base was described as a warm-hearted country boy from the South who grew up in the Pentecostal church and even preached a few times.

Jacob Wooley, 23, of Mississippi, was killed on Thursday by Sgt. Eusebio Lopez at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia, military officials said. Lopez also shot 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata to death before he killed himself.

The three 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 the Taylor Hall barracks, where those who work at the school live. The candidates for officer live elsewhere on base.

Tiffany Wood said she met Wooley when they were teens.

“I’m just so confused. Jacob had no enemies. He was such a sweetheart,” she said.

Wood said they went to the same schools in the small town of Corinth, in northeast Mississippi near the Tennessee state line.

“He was real goofy, too, like he always wanted everybody to smile. If he could lighten a situation he would,” she said. “You couldn’t stay mad at him. He would say something to make you laugh or make you groan.”

Before joining the Marines, he had preached a few times at Central Pentecostal Church, she said. “He just had a real big heart. He would help anybody that he could.”

Wooley was a field radio operator. He worked at the school, which is known for its grueling 10-week program that evaluates Marines on physical stamina, intelligence and leadership.

Lopez, of Pacifica, Calif., was an instructor there whose specialty was machine gunner. Castromata, of Oakley, Calif., was a warehouse clerk.

Wooley had always wanted to be a Marine. He joined in February 2010.

“He loved the Marines. I have friends that have joined and they hate it. But it was his passion to help people,” Wood said.

Wooley’s great-aunt Jean Luker said after high school, Wooley went to Northeast Mississippi Community College and then the Marines.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Hong Kong firms on edge as democracy rally blockade looms

    HONG KONG — As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst. Chan’s investment company has added ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in the Netherlands

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Doctor fired back at gunman

    DARBY, Pa. — A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said....

    July 25, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Tornado slams Virginia campground

    CAPE CHARLES, Va. — The sky turned black and cellphones pinged with emergency messages. Moments later, a tornado ripped through a sprawling, carnival-like campground Thursday, snapping dozens of trees and flipping over RVs....

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014