Earlier today I was browsing the news and saw a headline on MSNBC about a Marine arrested for opening fire on a crowd. I clicked on a different headline and when I clicked back to check that one, it was gone (hmmm …) Hat tip to Tay Tay on DU for posting this story about a “Marine of the Year” who opened fire on a small crowd last night in Lawrence, MA.
A man who was named “Marine of the Year” last month for his service in Iraq injured two people when he fired a shotgun from his apartment window at a group of revelers leaving a night club, police said.
A 15-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man were injured by bullet fragments when Daniel Cotnoir, 33, of Lawrence, allegedly fired a bullet at the crowd outside his second-floor apartment early Saturday.
Minutes before the shooting, Cotnoir called police to complain about the noise coming from the street around 2:50 a.m., The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune reported.
Cotnoir, whose wife and two daughters were home at the time of the shooting, later told police he feared for his family’s safety because someone threw an empty juice bottle through his bedroom window.
Cotnoir was arrested and held on $100,000 bail. He was to be arraigned Monday in Lawrence District Court on attempted murder charges.
Clearly, Daniel Cotnoir needs help. “Cotnoir, now a Marine reservist, was a military mortician in Iraq. During his deployment last year, he was responsible for preparing soldiers for open-casket funerals.”
The article notes that in an interview last month with the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, “Cotnoir said the job took a heavy psychological toll. At the time, he was getting counseling at a veterans hospital in Bedford.”
We can only begin to imagine the horrors that Daniel Cotnoir experienced in Iraq. I have a dear friend who recently explained to me the duty’s of Marine “Bone Detail”, when he served in Vietnam.
This highlights yet another view of the tragedy of the Iraq war striking here at home. While Cindy Sheehan continues her vigil outside of Bush’s Crawford ranch, others across the country struggle daily with assimilating back into daily lives after serving in Iraq. We need to do more to help these people. We need to bring the troops home.
Daniel Cotnoir was honored by John Kerry for receiving the “Marine of the Year” award on July 14th.
UPDATE: In another piece on this story from Editor & Publisher, it’s is noted that Cotnoir recovered the bodies of two of the contractors in the Fallujah incident. Cotnoir and his family live in a apartment above his family’s funeral home.
Cotnoir pleaded not quilty at a court hearing today and is “being held without bail for 20 days at Bridgewater State Hospital where he will undergo psychiatric tests to see if he is fit to stand trial,” Kelley (his lawyer) said.
UPDATE: From the AP News story on the Marine Daniel Cotnoir, this piece about another Iraqi Vet was at the end of the story:
Also on Monday, an Iraq war veteran appeared in court in Las Vegas to face charges of using an assault rifle to kill a woman and wound a man in an alley.
An attorney for Matthew Sepi, 20, said he acted in self-defense and should be eligible for psychological treatment.
Sepi, an American Indian from Winslow, Ariz., moved to Las Vegas after being honorably discharged as an Army specialist in May. Sepi told police he pulled an assault rifle from beneath his coat and reacted when he was ambushed in the alley.
NOTE: When I first posted this a few hours ago it had only made local news in MA. It’s all over the news wires now.