SAN ANTONIO (KTSA) – One of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan has been identified as Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez from San Antonio. Gutierrez and a soldier from New Mexico were killed in what’s called an “insider attack” this past weekend.
The Department of Defense says “an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun” Saturday in Nangarhar province. Gutierrez and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez of Las Cruces, New Mexico were killed. Six others were wounded and the gunman was killed.
Gutierrez and Rodriguez, both 28-years-old, were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Col. John Sannes, 7th Special Force Group Commander said Gutierrez “was a warrior that exemplified selfless service and a commitment to the mission, both values that we embody here in the 7th Special Forces Group.”
The Associated Press reports the shooter was an Afghan soldier who had argued with the U.S. forces before he opened fire. An Afghan defense ministry official who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity said the shooter was not a Taliban infiltrator.
The deaths of the two American soldiers come as Washington tries to find an end to the war in Afghanistan. In his State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Trump referenced the peace talks, saying U.S. soldiers were not meant to serve as “law enforcement agencies” for other nations.