Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota on Wednesday identified the two airmen who died in an early-morning shooting in a dorm Monday as Airman First Class Natasha Raye Aposhian, 21, and Airman First Class Julian Carlos Torres, 20.
And in a statement, Aposhian’s parents said their daughter was killed in an act 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 the statement reported by local media. "Natasha had recently joined the Air Force and was just starting to embark on a career serving her country. 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.”
Aposhian was part of the 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Grand Forks, and Torres was a member of the 319th Security Forces Squadron, Grand Forks said in Wednesday’s release. Aposhian was from Arizona, and was assigned to Grand Forks in April, as an aircraft parts store apprentice. Torres, of Texas, arrived at Grand Forks in December and worked as an installation entry controller and internal security response team member. Grand Forks was both airmen’s first stations.
“This is heartbreaking,” Col. Cameron Pringle, commander of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, said in the base’s release. “I cannot begin to express the sorrow and pain I feel on behalf of these units and the families affected by this tragedy.”
The base has not yet said whether the incident is believed to be a murder-suicide, but on Tuesday a spokeswoman said there are no suspects being sought in the case, and that nobody else was involved. The shooting is still under investigation.
The base said in Wednesday’s statement that while Aposhian “was killed” during the shooting, Torres was “also deceased in the incident.”
Torres “was rushed to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving,” the base said.
The base said it immediately moved 21 airmen out of the dorm after the shooting, and made emergency mental health workers available for people who may have been affected.
“There will be a wide range of responses to an event like this,” Maj. Lateasa Reed-Jackson, mental health flight commander, said in the release. “This may trigger some other negative memories or be multiplied by other life stressors. Mental health is available for non-documented counseling and support for our Airmen in distress.
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 Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.