Coast Guardsman found deceased in New Smyrna Beach

5th Coast Guard District News
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A Coast Guardsman was found dead Wednesday following a search conducted by the Coast Guard and New Smyrna Beach Police Department.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Johnnie F. Walton, 37, of Edgewater, Florida died of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.

“We are truly heartbroken by this tragedy. This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved, and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Petty Officer Walton’s family, friends, shipmates and loved ones,” said Cmdr. James B. Rush, response department head for Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Florida.

Walton was last seen Wednesday morning while exercising with other members of Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet. When Walton did not return from a run, members of the unit conducted a brief search of the area before contacting local police.

At approximately 8:45 p.m. Walton was located in a secluded location on the station property. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a local medical examiner.

The incident is under investigation.

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