A Fort Carson soldier was shot and killed in his apartment on Oct. 27 when a fellow soldier was mishandling a firearm, according to local law enforcement.
The deceased was identified as Sgt. Alexis Sanchez, 30, a soldier with the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said Fort Carson spokeswoman Brandy Gill.
His acquaintance, 22-year-old Cpl. William Garcia, was charged with manslaughter and taken into custody at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.
“Detectives learned that an acquaintance of the victim was handling a firearm inside the residence when the firearm discharged, striking the victim,” reads a Colorado Springs Police Department statement.
The case is still an active investigation, but the county coroner’s office has completed an autopsy of Sanchez, police said last week.
Garcia was also a member of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. His attorney did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday morning.
Both soldiers were infantrymen who deployed together to Afghanistan from April 2018 to January 2019, and were awarded Army Commendation Medals with combat devices, according to service records provided to Army Times.
The gunshot that struck Sanchez hit him in the chest and he died at the scene, the Colorado Gazette first reported. Sanchez was playing video games at the time of the gunshot.
The Miami Herald reported that Sanchez will be buried in Miami this week and a wake will be held Friday. Sanchez was born in Cuba and enlisted in May 2014. He had been assigned to Fort Carson since October 2017.
Garcia has been in the Army for three years and two months.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends affected by this tragedy,” said Col. Ike L. Sallee, commander of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said in a statement after Sanchez’s death. “We value our people over all else, and I know the Raider Brigade joins me in offering our deepest sympathies.”
Sanchez leaves behind a 2-year-old son, according to local media.
Sanchez’s awards and decorations include: the Army Commendation Medal with "C" device, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO medal.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer