A vandal was caught by security camera kicking over candles and violently sprinting through a memorial honoring Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, who was murdered at the Texas base by a fellow soldier earlier this year.
The clip was shared to Facebook on Friday by the League of United Latin American Citizens, a volunteer group dedicated to empowering “Latinos in the U.S. at all levels.” The organization, one of the oldest Latino civil rights groups in the country, is seeking the community’s help in identifying the person recorded vandalizing the site in Killeen, not far from the Fort Hood East Gate.
A time stamp on the surveillance footage shows the incident unfolded round 2:40 a.m. on Thursday. In the video, a person with their face mostly obscured by their hood can be seen stomping through flowers and kicking over candles arranged in front of an image of Guillen.
Just when the suspect appears to be finished with their destruction, they race again toward the memorial — flailing wildly and knocking over even more of the decorations before walking off.
According to KXAN, the site was cleaned up by morning.
“I would ask that we focus on reminding the community that the mural is there to bring the community together and bring awareness to sexual assault, sexual harassment and its prevention,” League of United Latin American Citizens District Director Analuisa Tapia said in a public statement.
“Our community has already been damaged by the loss of one too many soldiers. We ask that we collectively take care of the mural as we honor our service members who live in that silent combat.”
Guillen was last seen alive on April 22 in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters. Her disappearance, preceded by claims she made to family about sexual harassment on the Texas base, generated national concern with calls for help in the case fueled by celebrities and other high-profile figures.
Guillen’s dismembered remains were found near the base two months after she vanished.
When police moved in to arrest Specialist Aaron Robinson, 20, in connection with the death, he shot and killed himself, authorities said in early July.
A second individual, Cecily Anne Aguilar, has also been charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence.
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