A recent graduate of Fort Benning’s Infantry One Station Unit Training was killed Monday outside a recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark., post officials confirmed Wednesday.
Pvt. William Long, 23, was killed and Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18, was injured in the attack.
The two men, both privates from Arkansas, were participating in a hometown recruiting program. Long, who graduated on May 22 from D Company, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry, was home on leave and working at the recruiting center before going to his first duty station in Korea.
Abdulhakim Muhammad, 23, of Little Rock was arrested in the shooting.
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“This is a senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” said Lt. Col. Richard Timmons II, 2/58 Battalion commander, in a news release. “Private Long was a solid soldier. He did everything we asked of him during his basic training and he graduated as an Infantryman.”
Long elected to enter the military of his own accord rather than acting as an obedient son expected to carry on a family legacy, said his father, Daris Long. Daris Long served in the Marines; his wife was in the Navy. The slain soldier’s brother also is in the Army, and a grandfather and great-grandfather were soldiers as well.
A memorial service for Long is planned for 9 a.m. Friday at Soldier’s Chapel on Sand Hill on Fort Benning.
Little Rock police said Muhammad told investigators that he attacked soldiers “because of what they had done to Muslims in the past” and aimed to “kill as many people in the Army as he could.”
Muhammad is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty.
An FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment document obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday suggested Muhammad may have considered targeting other locations, including Jewish and Christian sites.
The FBI said Muhammad “conducted Internet searches related to different locations in several U.S. cities” including Atlanta, Little Rock, Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., New York and Philadelphia and notified those authorities in those locations.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said investigators found Google Earth images of various places, including Times Square. In Atlanta, FBI Agent Stephen Emmett said Muhammad had information regarding a “Jewish entity within our jurisdiction.”