In a shocking and tragic turn of events, a gunman opened fire at a music festival in Washington, killing two innocent people and leaving several others injured. As details continue to emerge about the assailant, it has been revealed that he was stationed at a US Army base.  When this is the case, it often raises questions about the potential role his military background may have played in the incident.

Those killed were Seattle residents Brandy Escamilla, 29, and Josilyn Ruiz, 26. Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison confirmed the news on Tuesday. Law enforcement officers shot the gunman at the scene, and he was treated in a local hospital. The shooter is now booked at the Grant County Jail, facing two counts of murder. He also has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree assault domestic violence for those that he injured in his attack. 

The gunman has been identified as James M. Kelly, age 26. Kelly is a Fire Support Specialist assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis McChord. He joined the service in 2021 and is originally from Strongsville, Ohio. Kelly had never been deployed, according to the armed forces.

The US Army sent an official statement to the families affected by the incident. Lt. Col. Mike Burns, spokesman for the US Army Special Operations Command stated: