Her son was openly gay and serving in the U.S. Navy when he was shot five times down while on sentry duty. Now she's a grieving mother demanding to know who killed her son and why.
Melanie Collins spoke from Texas Sunday, asking the military for answers in the shooting death of her son, 29-year old Seaman August Provost.
Provost, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton, was found dead early June 30 in a guard shack at the Assault Craft Unit Five compound. While he was standing watch, Provost was shot several times and then burned in a fire was set to destroy evidence military investigators said His body was not gagged, bound or mutilated when it was found according to investigators.
Provost's family said he recently told them he was being harassed at the base.
“I don’t know if he reported it or not but he had several incidents where people came in was picking on him or steal something from him,” Collins said. “I told him ‘Just let it go BJ. Let it go.’”
Collins said her son was shot five times.
"Regardless of his sexual preference or anything, he went there to honor and protect,” she said. “But no one protected him. No one.”
Military investigators have made an arrest and said it doesn't appear that Provost's killing was a hate crime.
Provost was buried in Houston Friday morning. On Friday evening, several dozen people held a candlelight vigil demanding an investigation into the motive for Provost's killing.
Several members of Congress, including Susan Davis, Bob Filner and Sheila Jackson Lee, have demanded a full and complete investigation. Filner wants the Navy to address the possibility that the killer was storming the area of Camp Pendleton that houses Assault Craft Unit 5.
A sailor was taken into custody as a suspect two days after the shooting but has not been identified. He is being held at the Navy Brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, according to investigators.