College City soldier charged with murder
A College City man stationed at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks, Alaska, has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the shooting death of another soldier.
Pvt. Joshua Jordan Corona, 21, was reportedly drunk at a party in his own south Fairbanks apartment where, according to police, he shot Pvt. Jawaun Collins, 19, of Detroit, in the head.
According to media reports, Corona told police he thought he had cleared the weapon and apparently believed the gun to be unloaded.
Corona broke down in tears when arraigned July 24, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
Corona and Collins were members of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, but in separate battalions, the U.S. Army reported.
They had apparently gone though basic training together at Fort Benning, Ga., as did two other soldiers who were at the party where the shooting took place in the early hours of July 22.
According to the News-Miner report, police indicated Corona and Collins came out of a bedroom. Corona had a pistol in his hand, and based on one witness statement, Collins “made a statement to Corona that he should just shoot him in the head.”
The witnesses also indicated that they thought Corona might have taken the magazine out of the gun before firing, the news report states.
Corona and his wife first reported to police that Collins had shot himself, the News-Miner reported.
However, the other soldiers at the party apparently came forward, and police were contacted by the Army Criminal Investigation Division about those witnesses.
The News-Miner reported Corona’s wife later admitted to making up her original statement.
She told police that she too heard Collins tell Corona to shoot him, then got down on his knees, the News-Miner reported.
She also told police, according to the news account, that Corona ejected a round from the gun, then shot Collins in the head.
She told police she picked up the gun with a towel, and took the magazine out of the gun, the News-Miner reported.
Two unspent rounds were found in the apartment, but the casing from the fired bullet was not located.
Corona is being held in the Fairbanks Correctional Center without bail.