Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the identity of the soldier killed in the attack.
A soldier assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, was arrested Tuesday after brutally attacking a fellow soldier, officials told Army Times in a Wednesday afternoon statement.
Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu, 21, of Bronx, New York City, died from injuries sustained in the attack, according to a statement from the post’s top spokesperson, Lt. Col. Andy Thaggard.
“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 Maj. Gen. Michael C. McCurry, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commander. “Our hearts are with the families and units impacted by the incident, and we are focused on taking care of Soldiers, families, and leaders.”
Both soldiers were students in advanced individual training, the second leg of enlisted initial entry training.
The alleged perpetrator has not yet been identified by officials.
The attacker used an Army-issued entrenching tool — a small steel folding shovel — in the assault, a source with knowledge of the incident told Army Times, requesting anonymity in order to share information from the preliminary investigation, which has not yet been released to the public.
Thaggard added that the attack is “under investigation.”
It’s not clear why the attack occurred, but the service’s Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the killing. According to a statement sent to Army Times Wednesday evening, there is no indication the incident was a hate crime.
Counselors and chaplains are available at Fort Rucker to provide support for those who need it.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.