Officials with the United States Army announced Friday that an aircraft electrician from Adairsville died as a result of injuries sustained in a weapons training incident at Fort Campbell in Kentucky two days earlier.
Private 2nd Class Jeremy J. Wells of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade was fatally injured during a small-arms range exercise Wednesday around 2 p.m. He was taken to the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital where he later died.
Wells, 19, joined the Army last year. He received several decorations, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Basic Aviation Badge. He received the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal posthumously.
Representatives of the 101st Airborne Division said no one else was injured in the incident, the cause of which is still under investigation.
The Brigade "has lost an incredible member of the Destiny family," said 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (Rear) Commander Lt. Col. Cayton Johnson.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of this soldier," he said. "We ask that everyone respect the privacy of his family as they grieve this tragic loss."
Local tributes began pouring out of social media once Wells' death was confirmed.
"This young man was my student his senior year," stated Jennifer Bussey Tordrup, an English teacher at Adairsville High School, on a public Facebook post. "He was the sweetest and kindest soul ever. He was easy to teach, mentor and care for. Prayers for his family."
Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said flags will be lowered to half-staff throughout the community to honor Wells.
"We're so proud he's from Bartow County and this community, but at the same time we're saddened by his death," he said. "But we're grateful he was willing to serve and there are young men like him in this community that are willing to serve — he served this community well and we're honored he was from Bartow County."