The Texas National Guard confirmed today that a member of its ranks was killed in Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday. Private First Class Jose Gil Hernandez, 22, was assigned to the guard’s Headquarters Battery 3rd Battalion, 133 Field Artillery unit in El Paso, where he lived. He died from gunshot wounds, according to a statement from the Texas Military Forces press office out of Camp Mabry in Austin.
The Associated Press reported the story late Wednesday and identified the area where Hernandez was shot as the Colonia Revolucion Mexicana. Another man, Rafael Ramírez Reza, 42, was also found slain, according to a report in the El Paso Times. The circumstances surrounding their deaths are still under investigation.
The statement describes Hernandez as a “Citizen Soldier” who attended school during the week. He joined the Texas National Guard in 2007.
“The Texas National Guard family has lost a friend and fellow Soldier and he will be missed. But, more importantly the Soldier’s family mourns the loss of a loved one,” reads the statement.
More than 6,600 people have been killed in Juárez in less than three years as a result of a turf battle between rival drug gangs vying for control of the territory.