Fatal shooting may have been game between young Marine buddies

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 27, 2008

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) — Two buddies who had recently joined the Marine reserves together may have been playing a game with guns when one shot and killed the other, sheriffs deputies say.

If the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office finds that James Alexander Lind, 20, of Pineville died in a game with Ron Weneell Lindo Jr., 19, of Ball, it would be the second fatal shooting in three days by grown men allegedly playing with guns in Central Louisiana.

Jeffrey Alan Latson, 51, of Winnfield died Tuesday, shot in the chest. The death was reported first as a suicide, but was found to be the result of two men playing with a loaded gun, Winnfield police said in a written statement. Bobby R. Anders, 54, of Winnfield was booked with negligent homicide and his bond set at $10,000.

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“There is nothing to indicate that this is anything but a tragic accident caused by an extremely bad judgment call that ended in a young man losing his life,” Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Maj. Herman Walters said.

Sheriff’s Detective Jasper Bay said the two were “constantly playing games” with “air-soft guns” that looked like real guns but shot plastic pellets. Whether they were playing such games when Lind was shot is still under investigation, Bay said.

“These two were the very best of friends, according to everyone we have talked to,” Walters said.

Lind’s father was home with the young men when his married son was hit with 7¼ bird shot Thursday evening, investigators said.

Walters said Lindo picked up a shotgun, said he knew it was real but checked to be sure it wasn’t loaded, and then fired it at Lind. It was loaded.

Marine Corps Maj. Clinton Robins said the two went to Marine Corps Recruiting Training together in San Diego and joined the division at the same time. Both were “new Marines” — in the unit for less than six months, he said. Both were privates in Company B, First Battalion, 23rd Marines, Fourth Marine Division Marine Forces Reserve, based in Bossier City.

“The whole time I knew Lind, you never saw him without Lindo right by his side,” Robins said.