Army charges 21-year-old soldier with murder in Fort Rucker killing
Stars and Stripes January 19, 2023
A 21-year-old soldier has been charged with murder in the death of another soldier at Fort Rucker, officials at the Army post in Alabama said Thursday.
Pvt. Brian Jones Jr. faces one count of murder in the Jan. 10 death of Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu, said David C. Agan Jr., a Fort Rucker spokesman. A military judge ordered Jones held in pretrial confinement until he faces a court-martial for the charge, Agan said.
No date has been set for Jones’ trial.
Jones and Latifu, also 21, were students at Fort Rucker’s Advanced Individual Training course for air traffic control operators at the time of the altercation. AIT is the second stage of initial military training for enlisted soldiers.
Officials have not provided information about the motivation for the altercation. Agan said Thursday that he could not provide further details about the case.
Latifu was from the Bronx in New York City. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker’s AIT program, which is part of its Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
Latifu was described last week as a “promising young soldier” by Maj. Gen. Michael C. McCurry, the commander of Fort Rucker and the aviation center.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division led the probe into the altercation. Latifu was killed with an Army-issued entrenching tool — a small, steel folding shovel known as an e-tool — according to Army Times, which cited an unnamed source “with knowledge of the incident.” Agan declined to confirm an e-tool was used in the attack.