Air Force identifies airmen killed in Grand Forks AFB shooting

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The U.S. Hill Air Force Base Honor Guard proceeds a funeral at Veterans Memorial Park, Utah held for retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Richard Schildknecht, Nov. 15, 2012

The U.S. Hill Air Force Base Honor Guard proceeds a funeral at Veterans Memorial Park, Utah held for retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Richard Schildknecht, Nov. 15, 2012

The Air Force identified two airmen who were killed in a shooting at a dormitory at Grand Forks Air Force Base on Monday.

Airman First Class Natasha Raye Aposhian, 21, was assigned to the 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 319th Reconnaissance Wing wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

An Arizona native, Aposhian was assigned to Grand Forks AFB in April, where she worked as an Aircraft Parts Store Apprentice. 

Airman First Class Julian Carlos Torres, 20, was assigned to the 319th Security Forces Squadron. He was rushed to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving, the wing wrote.

A Texas native, Torres was assigned to Grand Forks AFB in December, where he worked as an Installation Entry Controller and an Internal Security Response Team Member.

It was the first duty station for both airmen, and neither had been deployed, the wing wrote.

“This is heartbreaking,” said Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Reconnaissance Wing commander. “I cannot begin to express the sorrow and pain I feel on behalf of these units and the families affected by this tragedy.”

 Immediately after the incident, 21 airmen were moved out of the affected dormitory, while the base’s disaster mental health team and an emergency response service was mobilized to provide support for airmen in the dormitory as well as anyone else who was affected by the event, the wing wrote.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and is expected to continue for the coming weeks, the wing wrote. 

On Tuesday, Aposhian’s family told Grand Forks Herald, the local newspaper, that the airman was a victim of domestic violence.

"We’re torn apart by the loss of our daughter to a senseless act of domestic violence," her parents, Brian Murray and Megan Aposhian, said in a statement provided to the Herald.

"Natasha had recently joined the Air Force and was just starting to embark on a career serving her country," they wrote. "It’s a tragedy she won’t get to fulfill her hopes and dreams. We ask that you pray for her, our family and the countless victims of these crimes.”

Both the base Chaplain Corps and mental health care providers told the wing’s public affairs office that they ready to support those who need assistance.

“With the recent event on base, please be assured that your Chaplain Corps is here to support you,” said Capt. Juan Reyes, 319th Reconnaissance Wing chaplain. “If you need a listening ear, or someone to walk with you, we are here for you. To the Warriors of the North, please know that you are always on our hearts, in our prayers, and loved.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Air Force announced another airman was found unresponsive in their quarters at Andersen Air Base on Guam and was later pronounced dead. That investigation is still ongoing.