Two airmen from Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico have died in recent weeks in unrelated incidents.

Most recently, Staff Sgt. Jose Ramirez, of the 27th Special Operations Contracting Squadron was found dead near Norfolk, Virginia, on July 14, Cannon said in a release Wednesday.

Officer Daniel Hudson, a spokesman for the Norfolk Police Department, said in an interview that Ramirez was found floating in the Elizabeth River. Hudson said his death does not appear to be caused by foul play, but said an investigation is ongoing and the police are waiting for the medical examiner to determine his cause of death.

Airman 1st Class Marcus Jimenez, 23, of Olton, Texas, died July 10, five days after sustaining a gunshot wound. According to the he Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, in a release Tuesday, local police said Jimenez and another airmen had been playing with a firearm while drinking alcohol July 5. He was first taken to the Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis, N.M.,, and then to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, where he later died.

The DA’s office said in the release that Cannon was given jurisdiction to prosecute the other airman involved in Jimenez’s shooting death.

“After speaking with the military, law enforcement involved, and the victim’s family, I believe letting the military handle a case involving two of their own [airmen] is the best decision,” DA Andrea Reeb said in the release. “The military should be allowed in certain circumstances to handle cases that impact their organization. The military’s penalties are similar, if not higher, than the state’s penalties. The district attorney’s office will continue to assist the military in any way possible.”

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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