A Marine Harrier mechanic stationed aboard Cherry Point, North Carolina, was killed on Oct. 20 while cleaning his weapon.

Marine officials identified the 22-year-old Marine as Cpl. Mark A. Scott, a Harrier mechanic assigned to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Attack Squadron 231.

According to a weekly military mishap report, the Marine was killed while off duty after “his weapon accidentally discharged while he was cleaning it.”

Marine officials would not release any further information and said the incident was still under investigation.

Negligent discharges have had a serious impact on the Corps. Since fiscal year 2016, negligent discharges have cost the Corps nearly 1,700 work days and millions of dollars.

There has been a total of 54 reported negligent discharges in the Corps spanning the last five years — 36 occurring on duty and 18 off duty.

“The majority of on-duty mishaps occur during basic training, weapon cleaning, or disassembly. Most off-duty mishaps occur when loaded firearms are misidentified as unloaded ones (normally when a round has been left in the chamber),” the Corps’ Safety Division said.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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