San Antonio mayor orders flags lowered to honor fallen sergeant

Sgt. Gutierrez was killed in action during a combat mission last week

Sgt. 1st Class Javier J. Gutierrez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas. (Credit: U.S. Army) (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The city of San Antonio is mourning the loss of one of its own - Sergeant First Class Javier J. Gutierrez.

Sgt. Gutierrez was killed in action during a combat mission in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 8.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the U.S. Military said “an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun. We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time."

Sgt. Gutierrez was one of two soldiers killed in the attack. The other soldier killed was Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28, according to AP.

Initial reports indicate multiple US casualties in Afghanistan attack

In honor of Sgt. Gutierrez, Mayor Ron Nirenberg ordered flags to be flown at half-staff through his interment.

A moment of silence was also held during the City Council meeting on Feb. 13 to honor the fallen sergeant.

“While we mourn for the loss of any American military member, Military City, USA honors and remembers the life and service of one of its own, Sergeant First Class Gutierrez,” said Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, USMC (Ret.), City of San Antonio Office of Military and Veteran Affairs Director.

Sgt. Gutierrez graduated from Burbank High School in 2009, where he was a member of the ROTC program. He first enlisted in the Army in 2009 as an infantryman and was stationed at Fort Bragg while assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, according to Army officials.

Officials say he graduated in 2015 as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant and was reassigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

During his time serving in the Army, officials say Gutierrez received several awards, which included the Army Commendation Medal (1OLC); Army Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2); Army Service Ribbon; Expert Infantry and Parachutist Badges; and the Special Forces Tab.

About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.