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Soldier killed by another soldier in AL; attacker used shovel, report says

U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWWS) 272 use an entrenching tool while conducting routine maintenance at STOVAL Expeditionary Airfield, Dateland, Ariz., March 21. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Taylor Newman/Released)
January 12, 2023

A soldier was killed at Fort Rucker in Alabama after another soldier attacked him on Tuesday. An anonymous source told Army Times that the attack was carried out with an Army-issued entrenching tool, which is a small, steel folding shovel.

The soldier killed was Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu, 21, from the Bronx in New York City, according to a statement from post spokesperson Lt. Col. Andy Thaggard, Army Times reported. The suspected attacker has not yet been identified.

There’s no clear motive yet in the attack, which is being investigated by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. But there’s no indication that it was a hate crime, according to the statement.

Both soldiers were students studying advanced individual training, which is the second leg of enlisted initial entry training, according to Army Times. Fort Rucker stated that Latifu was training to be an Army air traffic control operator, PIX11 reported.

An initial statement from Fort Rucker said that one soldier was detained by officers from the fort’s Department of Public Safety, while Latifu died after being transported for treatment, WTVY reported.

“On behalf of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, I extend our deepest condolences to Pvt. Latifu’s family, friends, and community. Together we mourn the loss of a promising young Soldier,” said Fort Rucker commander Maj. Gen. Michael C. McCurry. “Our hearts are with the families and units impacted by the incident, and we are focused on taking care of Soldiers, families, and leaders.”

American Military News attempted to contact Fort Rucker for comment, but the public affairs office could not immediately be reached.

The incident came less than a month after another Army soldier was charged with murder for fatally shooting another soldier last month at Fort Stewart in Georgia. 

Sgt. Nathan Hillman, 30, was shot by Spc. Shay Wilson in the fort’s complex for the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, which they both served in.