SEAL dies after accidental shooting, Navy says

Staff report


Gene “Geno” Clayton, 22, a Boardman High School graduate who accidentally shot himself Thursday morning in his San Diego condominium, died Saturday morning, according to the Navy.

Clayton recently completed his SEAL training in the Navy and reported to a West Coast-based SEAL Team.

San Diego police said Clayton was in his Pacific Beach condo showing a gun to a woman he had met in a nightclub. He placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger in an effort to prove to the woman that the gun was not loaded, police said.

He was pronounced dead shortly after 3 a.m. PST Thursday, but was placed on life support, police said then.

He remained on life support in Scripps Memorial Hospital in LaJolla, Calif., while his family traveled from Boardman to San Diego to be with him.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating.

The Navy issued a press release Saturday saying Clayton was a Special Warfare Operator 3rd Class who had completed his SEAL training in December 2011 and reported aboard a West-Coast-based Naval Special Warfare Unit.

He entered the Navy in March 2010, graduating from boot camp May 19, 2010, and completing Pre-Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Great Lakes, Ill., on Aug. 4, 2010.

He was accepted to attend Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in Coronado, Calif., and graduated SEAL Qualification Training in December.

His awards include the National Defense Service Medal.

He is survived by his parents, Gene Sr. and Kimberly Clayton and three sisters. Gene Sr. is owner of Clayton Heating and Air Conditioning of Youngstown.

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