The Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan by one of his trainees while serving with the National Guard believed “he was among friends.”
North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor, who took a leave of absence to serve his country, was killed Saturday by small arms fire, according to military officials.
Taylor, who served two tours in Iraq and was on his second tour in Afghanistan, was to help train and build the capacity of the Afghan national army, according to Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton of the Utah National Guard.
“He was with folks he was helping and training,” Burton said. “That’s what’s so painful about this. It’s bitter. I do believe that Major Taylor felt he was among friends, with people he was working with.”
It was reported by multiple outlets in Utah that Taylor was shot by one of the commandos he was training. The gunman was then killed by Afghan forces.
Taylor, a father of seven, was expected to return to his mayoral job in January. His remains are scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday.
“When I asked Jennie what she would like me to say when we came out, she said that there is heartache but no regret,” said Kristy Pack, the sister of Taylor’s wife.
Speaking outside the family’s home on Sunday night, Pack said “there’s not a whole lot of room for anger.”
“We are so proud of the way he lived — proud of the way he gave his life,” she said.