LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Green Beret from Pasadena was confirmed killed while on deployment in Afghanistan following reports of a NATO aircraft mistakenly bombing his unit instead of their Taliban attackers.
Scott Studenmund, 24, a 2008 graduate of Flintridge Preparatory School, was killed, along with four others, by an apparent friendly fire incident in the southern Afghan province of Zabul.
Studenmund was a month shy of his 25th birthday.
Studenmund’s Special Forces unit made contact with Taliban forces during a security operation, and the Pentagon is investigating reports that a B-1 Bomber, called in for support, was responsible for the friendly fire.
The incident occurred Monday night.
“(His parents) were so proud of him,” neighbor Marlin James said. “And I’m sure that… I feel so sorry for them.”
Dozens of cars were reported arriving at the grieving family’s home in Pasadena, where a flag in front of the home was being flown at half-staff.
“He was just a force to be reckoned with, he was fierce,” family friend Mary Lyon said. “He was super athletic, super smart, but just dedicated. It’s just very raw right now, and when you serve your child off to serve in the military, this is always the risk. But you just hope and pray it never happens.”
Similar memories were shared by Studenmund’s former football coach, Perry Skaggs.
“Scott was tenacious,” Skaggs said. “He was determined, he was a warrior, and he actually led the team in tackles that year, if I’m not mistaken. He had an engine that just kept revving.”
The mayor of Pasadena has asked that all flags be flown at half-staff.