RIP, Pvt. William Andrew Long
The Associated Press has a respectful piece about the murder of Pvt. William Andrew Long: Soldier’s family sought quiet in Arkansas.
CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — The father of a soldier slain outside a recruiting center sought a quiet life for his family in rural Arkansas after years of military service, but the battlefield came home to find them.
Daris Long’s son, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, was shot Monday in suburban Little Rock while he stood and smoked a cigarette, far from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Long, 23, died in an attack that also wounded Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18. The alleged gunman, Abdulhakim Muhammad, also 23, told investigators he wanted to kill as many Army personnel as he could “because of what they had done to Muslims in the past,” police said.
But Ezeagwula and Long had never seen battle. Both only completed basic training recently and had volunteered to help attract others into military service. Long was heading to South Korea, not even the Middle East, for his service.
“He was a hero. The other young lad that’s in the hospital, he’s a hero,” Daris Long told Little Rock television station KATV. “They weren’t on the battlefield, but apparently, the battlefield’s here.”
Private Long’s father doesn’t trust the media — a very appropriate and healthy attitude to have:
Daris Long spoke about his son reluctantly. Long said he mistrusted reporters, stemming from his time in Somalia during the American intervention there in the 1990s and saying he didn’t like coverage of the 2008 presidential election.
The suspect in Long’s killing, Abdulhakim Muhammad, may have been planning a larger jihad rampage before he decided to shoot two soldiers outside that Little Rock recruiting office:
Questions remain about what route Muhammad, a Muslim convert, took before the shooting. Material seized from Muhammad’s truck and apartment — including guns, ammunition and Molotov cocktails — led federal agents to caution that copycat attacks could not be ruled out.
An FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment document obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday suggested Muhammad, of Little Rock, 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 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.”