HAZEL CREST, Ill. (WGN) — A U.S. soldier from the Chicago area was among three people killed in an attack on a military base in Kenya.
WGN has confirmed that 23-year-old Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr. of Hazel Crest was killed Sunday. Mayfield joined the Army in 2018 to help pay for school.
“The loss of a child is devastating, no matter how it occurs,” said Mayfield’s aunt Tawanna Cottenfinner. “This was a senseless act of violence that has changed our lives forever. Our son was a great big brother, cousin, and above all, he was an awesome person. We will miss him tremendously. He brought joy to everyone he came in contact with.”
Members of National Women Veterans United were among those offering their support to the family Monday morning.
“The family lives right down the street from me, and it really breaks my heart to hear we lost another one,” said Rochelle Crump.
Two other Americans, both contractors with the U.S. Department of Defense, were also killed.
Members of the extremist group, al-Shabab, overran an airfield near a U.S. Military base, destroying planes and equipment. The airstrip is near the Somalian border and is used by US forces.
Kenya’s military said at least four attackers were killed.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the assault.