James Derek Lovelace died May 6 in a pool exercise during his first week of basic training
. He was pulled out of a pool after showing signs he was having difficulty while treading water in a camouflage uniform and a dive mask. Lovelace was taken to Sharp Coronado Hospital, where he was pronounced dead that afternoon.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office report found that “the actions, and inactions of the instructors and other individuals involved were excessive and directly contributed to the death, and the manner of death is best classified as a homicide.”
The report determined that on the morning of May 6, Lovelace was taking part in an exercise called “Combat Swimmer Orientation.” According to the report, surveillance video showed an instructor, who was not named, observing Lovelace struggling during the exercise. The instructor dunked Lovelace’s head under water and the followed him around the pool for about five minutes.