A Philadelphia man says his grandson was one of the seven Marines killed in a training exercise explosion in Nevada this week.
Jerome Muchnick of Philadelphia told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his grandson, Roger Muchnick, grew up in Westport, Conn. and was a graduate of Staples High School. He says his grandson served in Afghanistan and was thinking about going back to college after the Marines.
"He was a fabulous kid. Just fabulous," said Jerome Muchnick, 77, of Philadelphia. "He was at the top of his game when this happened. ... You can't imagine losing a very handsome, 23-year-old grandson who was vital and loving."
Roger Muchnick was in the Marines for about three years, had served in Afghanistan and was thinking about returning to college after his enlistment was up, his grandfather said.
Muchnick originally attended Eastern Connecticut University where he played lacrosse. His player profile page says he was born in Philadelphia.
Muchnick was training with fellow Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Monday night when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. Seven men were killed and eight were injured, officials said. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Jerome Muchnick says Roger Muchnick's father and mother moved out of Connecticut a few years ago to North Carolina and Florida, respectively.
NBC Connecticut reports that Muchnick's high school held a moment of silence Wednesday morning in his memory.
Funeral services haven't been announced.
The explosion's cause remains under investigation.