Abdul Latifu, a soldier from the Bronx, died after an altercation with another soldier at Fort Rucker in Alabama. According to Army Officials, Latifu, who had recently turned 21, was brutally murdered on January 10th by a military tool.
Latifu was training as an Army Air Traffic Control Operator and had been assigned to the 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, and 1st Aviation Brigade.
Often described as friendly, studious, and quiet by his family, Latifu’s relatives have publicly stated that the army has given them little to no information following the incident. The family revealed that Latifu was struck in the head and face eight times by an entrenching tool, a sharp military shovel. The attack took place in the dorms. He reportedly showed defensive wounds.
Brian Jones Jr., 21, has been charged with Latifu’s murder. Jones was an Advanced Individual Training Soldier studying the Army Air Traffic Control Operator course along with Latifu.
At the time of reporting, no motive has been revealed.
Latifu’s brother, Mohammed Latifu, said, “For him to be taken from us at this young age is heartbreaking. I want justice out of this.”
Major General Michael C. McCurry, USAACE and Fort Rucker Commander released a statement following the incident and the attention surrounding the murder stating, “On behalf of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, I extend our deepest condolences to Private Latifu’s family, friends, and community. Together, we mourn the loss of a promising young Soldier. Our Hearts are with the families and units impacted by the incident, and we are focused on taking care of Soldiers, families, and leaders.”
As per religious customs, Latifu’s family prepared the body themselves for burial, seeing the wounds he endured during the incident with the other soldier. In response to the army’s message, Latifu’s family said, “Keep your condolences, we want justice.