Skip to main content

Camp Lejeune Marine Shoots, Kills Intruder; Gets No Jail Time

When you consider that a Marine recently shot an unarmed man in the back, killing him, you might assume that the Marine would be headed to prison, but you'd be wrong.

According to District Attorney Ernie Lee's account of the incident as presented by The (Jacksonville, N.C.) Daily News, 22-year-old David Darling's own actions contributed to his death.  Therefore, no charges will be filed against the unidentified Marine who shot Darling.  The following is a summary of the events that led to the April 8 shooting, as outlined by Lee:

Darling, a civilian who was married to a Marine, was walking up and down Fieldcrest Drive in Jacksonville naked, shouting that he was high and that he did not want to kill himself or "her" -- it was not clear who else Darling was referring to. Darling, who lived at 113 Fieldcrest Drive, ran to 111 Fieldcrest Drive when someone at that residence turned on the porch light.  When a female resident opened the door, Darling asked her for a cigarette and a lighter.


The female, who was the wife of a Marine and mother of two small children, who were asleep inside the residence, was understandably concerned for the safety of her children. She closed and locked the door and someone from her residence called 911.


Darling yelled for the Marine at the residence (whom he apparently did not know) to let him inside. The Marine armed himself with his 45-caliber Model 1911 pistol as Darling began trying to force open the front door to the residence.

The Marine told Darling that he had a gun and ordered him to leave. In response, Darling said that he wanted a gun too. When the Marine went to a window to attempt to communicate with Darling, Darling ripped through the window screen and dove head first through the open window, into the living room.

Obviously, fearing for his safety and for the safety of his family, the Marine shot Darling three times in the back as Darling dove through the window.  Despite the Marine's efforts to render aid to Darling, Darling died.

Lee summed the incident up by stating, "Based upon my review of the facts in this case, the occupants of the residence were justified in using deadly force against Darling because the actions of Darling caused the occupants to reasonably believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect their lives."


Despite the fact that this case involved the defender shooting an unarmed man in the back, it was perfectly justified in light of all the facts and circumstances. Would a reasonable person legitimately fear for their safety and the safety of their family based on Darling's actions? Absolutely! Can you imagine what the outcome might have been had the Marine not been armed?

Despite the fact that the intruder was unarmed, his actions and the actions taken by the Marine and his wife clearly illustrate the judicious use of deadly force. What are your thoughts?

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout cartridge was developed to provide greater effectiveness than a 9mm at short and medium ranges when fired from a short-barreled suppressed firearm. Just because the cartridge wasn't designed to go long doesn't mean Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand won't take it there, using a large-format pistol, no less. Armed with SIG Sauer's 9-inch-barreled MCX Virtus Pistol loaded with Black Hills' 125-grain TMK ammunition, Beckstrand attempts to ring steel at 600 yards with help from Hornady's 4DOF ballistic calculator in this segment of “Long Range Tech.”

Cameras Don

Cameras Don't Lie: Subsonic 9mm vs. .300 Blackout

In this segment of "Cameras Don't Lie," a subsonic-ammo showdown, 9mm vs. .300 Blackout fired from AR rifles.

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps.How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready.14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the result of years of engineering, testing and evaluation, combined with premium grade components found on rifles costing thousands of dollars more.First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle Rifles

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 29, 2020

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the...

See More Trending Articles

More News

Guns & Ammo TV returns to Independent Studio Services (ISS) with armorer Larry Zanoff. In this segment of Guns & Ammo TV: Guns of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Industry

Guns & Ammo TV: Guns of 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 21, 2020

Guns & Ammo TV returns to Independent Studio Services (ISS) with armorer Larry Zanoff. In this...

Taurus announced Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison captured a big win at the recent USPSA Area 3 Championship held August 2 in Grand Island, Nebraska.Taurus Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison Wins at USPSA Industry

Taurus Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison Wins at USPSA

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 07, 2020

Taurus announced Shooting Team Captain Jessie Harrison captured a big win at the recent USPSA...

Support from the firearm industry continues to build as we learn how to serve those who are serving us. Once we recover from coronavirus' aftermath, I hope that we never forget the businesses who have chosen to be there for America's heroes unconditionally. Thank You – A Salute to First Responders News

Thank You – A Salute to First Responders

Eric R. Poole - August 18, 2020

Support from the firearm industry continues to build as we learn how to serve those who are...

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads. As Father's Day approached, I found myself reflecting on my own.Father's Day Thoughts Industry

Father's Day Thoughts

Keith Wood - August 20, 2020

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads....

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now