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A soldier from Walter Reed Military Medical Center and father of three was killed in a carjacking while home for the holidays, according to authorities.
The soldier, Sgt. Joseph Emmanuel Anderson, 31, was found dead Wednesday, fatally shot in his in-laws’ driveway in Marrero, La., on Jan. 1, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Anderson had just dropped off his three children, ages 7, 11, and 12, at the home of their maternal grandparents, shocked relatives told the Times-Picayune.
While home on leave, Anderson spent time with his children. He attended Christmas plays, took in the lights at Celebration in the Oaks in City Park and watched the holiday fireworks, relatives told the newspaper. He also caught up with old friends.
“He wasn’t a troublemaker,” David Anderson Sr., reportedly said. “He just wanted to have fun.”
Initially, the victim’s 2001 green, Toyota 4-Runner vehicle was missing, but deputies recovered it this morning 2 miles from where it was believed to have been taken.
Deputies plan to examine the vehicle and hope to recover physical evidence from it, said Col. John Fortunato, a department spokesman.
After Anderson dropped off his kids, a relative inside heard a pop he thought was fireworks. When someone outside the house told them a man was was lying in the driveway, they realized Anderson had been shot and called 911.
Anderson, an animal care specialist enlisted in March 2002, was most recently assigned to Walter Reed, in Silver Spring, Md., according to the Army. He deployed to Kuwait in 2003, and Iraq in 2004 and 2006.