The husband of a 3rd Infantry Division soldier was determined to be the primary aggressor in a domestic shooting Tuesday on Savannah's Southside, confirmed Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Information Officer Gena Moore. The soldier, Spc. Marlena McLaughlin, 24, is attached to an aviation brigade at Hunter Army Airfield, said Fort Stewart media chief Kevin Larson. McLaughlin's home of record is Wake Forest, N.C, Larson said.
"Officers found 26-year-old Charlie McLaughlin lying in the front yard of the residence suffering from a gunshot wound. His wife, Marlena McLaughlin, was across the street. She had run there to get help after an argument had escalated into violence. She told officers she had shot her husband after he had beaten her severely," read a SCMPD release.
Moore said the McLaughlins have four children who were present during the violent argument.
"They were picked up before the shooting by Mr. McLaughlin's current girlfriend," the release read.
"Spc. McLaughlin is a soldier in good standing," Larson said. He added the soldiers who were at the scene were there to support the Hunter soldier.
"It is routine for a soldier's command team to be on site to come to that soldier's assistance," Larson said. "It assures cooperation between the Army and any (emergency) responders and ensures the soldier's welfare no matter the incident. We take an interest in our soldiers' lives."
Larson said the Army made arrangements for the immediate care of the couple's children.
"The children's welfare is important to us (the Army)," Larson said Wednesday. "They are with a childcare provider on Hunter Army Airfield and we've made contact with the soldier's family."
McLaughlin and her husband were taken to area hospitals, according to the SCMPD.
Charles McLaughlin suffered life-threatening injuries, according to the release. He underwent surgery and was reportedly in critical condition, Moore confirmed Thursday.
"Marlena McLaughlin had visible signs of abuse to include swollen eyes, cuts and bruises on most of her exposed skin. She was kept for observation and remains in fair condition," the release read.
This case still is under investigation and detectives are working closely with the district attorney's office to come to some resolution in this case, according to the SCMPD. Charges could be pending.