Paterson soldier Kevin Rodriquez shot dead in training exercise
A U.S. Army soldier from Paterson died during a training exercise at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
Pvt. 1st Class Kevin J. Rodriguez was shot on Tuesday, according to a news release from the U.S. Army, and died at the base hospital from his injuries. Rodriguez was an infantryman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, known as "Rakkasans."
The Army did not elaborate on the nature of the exercise but did say the shooting was accidental.
Flags in Paterson will fly at half-staff Friday in honor of Rodriquez according to NJ.com.
“I can’t believe that he’s gone,” Rodriguez’s girlfriend, Jane Gonzalo, 24, of Fair Lawn told NorthJersey.com. “I’m destroyed. I can’t even cry. I just scream.”
She described Rodriquez, a native of Puerto Rico, as a gentleman who "had a lot of respect for everyone.”
He had been recognized a number of times for his achievements with an Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Marksmanship Badge.
A wake for Rodriquez takes place Sunday at Martinez Funeral Home in Paterson. His funeral is Monday at 9 a.m. at the funeral home.