A Gardnerville man on his first Army tour in Iraq was killed by sniper fire while protecting soldiers searching for explosive devices.
The Department of Defense says 21-year-old Phillip Williams died Monday in Baghdad. He's among 26 U.S. military personnel from Nevada and at least 43 with ties to the state who have died in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait since the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Governor Guinn, in a statement released today, said "this young man was killed while protecting his fellow soldiers from harm. What greater price can someone pay than by giving his life to keep his fellow man from harm. Dema and I were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of one of our brave soldiers. Our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Pfc. Williams, who will always remember him as a young man who wanted to protect others from danger.”
Williams was the oldest son of South Lake Tahoe, California, police officer Brad Williams. An uncle, Brian Williams who also is a police officer in South Lake Tahoe, says his nephew wanted to follow the family's footsteps into law enforcement.
Brian Williams says his nephew was killed instantly. He was on top of an armored vehicle manning a gun while guarding soldiers searching for roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.