Death of Navy SEAL trainee ruled a homicide

In this undated photo released by the Naval Special Warfare Center shows Seaman James 'Derek' Lovelace. (Naval Special Warfare Center via AP)

The death of a Navy SEAL trainee who died during an exercise in Coronado, California in May has been ruled a homicide.

According to the San Diego County autopsy report released Wednesday, Seaman James Derek Lovelace's official cause of death is drowning. The report also states that an enlarged heart could have been a contributing factor.

The term "homicide" does not necessarily mean a crime was committed. The instructor involved in the death has not been charged.

The Navy says Lovelace was treading water during a swimming exercise May 6 wearing fatigues, boots and a dive mask as instructors splashed and dunked him.

The autopsy report stated that multiple witnesses said Lovelace was struggling during the training exercise, and his face was purple and lips were blue.

After struggling, he was pulled from the water and rushed to a civilian hospital, where he died.

"It is our opinion that the actions, and inactions, of the instructors and other individuals involved were excessive and directly contributed to the death," the autopsy report stated, in part.

Lovelace had joined the Navy about six months before his death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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