U.S Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.

U.S Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala. (U.S. Army)

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.

Army Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu

Army Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu (U.S. Army)

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.

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Corey Dickstein covers the military in the U.S. southeast. He joined the Stars and Stripes staff in 2015 and covered the Pentagon for more than five years. He previously covered the military for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia. Dickstein holds a journalism degree from Georgia College & State University and has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his reporting and photography. He is based in Atlanta.

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