Officials identify local Marine suspected of murder-suicide

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A Red Roof Inn hotel in Houston, where police believe a San Diego-based Marine killed a woman and then himself Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO — Marine Corps officials Friday identified the man suspected of murder-suicide in a Houston hotel earlier this week.

Sgt. Massamba Diatta was an 0311 infantryman based out of San Diego and originally from New York, officials at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego confirmed.

“Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the families of all involved during this difficult time,” a Marine spokesperson told FOX 5 in a statement. “We are cooperating with civilian and military authorities during the investigation to collect all the details of the incident.”

The fatal shooting involving Diatta happened around midnight at the Red Roof Inn in West Houston, FOX 5 broadcast partner KIAH reports.

When officers arrived, a security guard told them that a 4-year-old boy walked into the lobby and told him a man had shot his mother. The security guard found the door of the room open, but did not hear anyone and decided to call 911, police said.

Officers found the 4-year-old’s mother and Diatta dead from gunshot wounds. The child was taken to the hospital for evaluation, the station reports.

The Houston Chronicle first reported the Marine was based in San Diego:

“We are aware of a serious incident that occurred overnight in Houston, involving a Marine currently assigned to duty in San Diego,” Capt. Martin Harris, director of communications for the U.S. Marine Corps Western Recruiting Region, told the newspaper in an email. “Our primary concern is the privacy and support of families involved.”

The Houston Police Department had previously received a warning from California Marine Corps police referring to one of their service members acting erratically and posting disturbing material to social media, the Chronicle reports. Officers were told Diatta was in Houston and would likely be with a woman and a 4-year-old, but police were unable to contact the Marine before the attack.

Officials are still investigating the events that led up to the deadly shooting.

The suicide crisis hotline can be reached by calling 888-724-7240 or visiting

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