August Provost, a bisexual US Navy sailor who was murdered last month, is thought to have been killed by a fellow gay sailor who feared being outed by him.
“This guy went the extra mile to make sure that my nephew would never be able to speak about his [the killer’s] sexuality,” Provost’s aunt, Rose Roy, told the Dallas Voice last week. “My nephew died for reasons other than what the military is saying.”
29 year old Provost was found dead in the early hours of June 30 inside the shack where he’d been standing guard as a sentry for the Assault Craft Unit 5 compound at Camp Pendleton, California. The Navy has said Provost’s killer shot him multiple times and then lit a fire to destroy evidence.
Roy said a source told the family that Provost had a heated argument with the suspect a week before his murder, and that the sailor now being held as a person of interest by the Navy has a history of mental illness.
“Right now we don’t have any information to suggest that it was a hate crime, nor do we have any information that would link the crime to gang activity or terrorist activity,” Capt. Matt Brown, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest in San Diego, told the Dallas Voice.
“A sailor is still being held, clearly tied to the commission of this crime based on physical evidence that our investigators have received to date and also the individual’s own statements,” he said.
It’s been speculated that Provost’s killing reflects the consequences of the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on LGBT personnel in which staff fear being fired if their sexuality becomes known.