Gardnerville soldier dies by sniper fire in Iraq
Phillip Brandon Williams, a former resident of Gardnerville and South Lake Tahoe, was reportedly killed by sniper fire in Iraq earlier this week as the military police officer was protecting soldiers searching for improvised explosive devices.
Williams, who turned 21 on May 29, was on his first tour of Iraq after graduating from the 787th Military Police Battalion in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. earlier this year.
Williams was assigned to the 4th Brigade Troop Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, Ky,, according to a release by the Department of Defense.
Williams was the oldest son of South Lake Tahoe police officer Brad Williams and wanted to follow the family’s footsteps into law enforcement, according to his uncle, Brian Williams, also a police officer with the police department.
“I’m very proud of my son. He wanted to be a combat military policeman and he knew the risks,” according to an e-mail his father sent out two hours after he heard the news. “When I tried to talk him out of it, and into going into something more safe, he told me that he grew up watching me go to work to try to make people that I didn’t even know feel safe.”
Events of Williams’ death is limited, although Brian Williams said his nephew was killed instantly. He was on top of an armored vehicle manning a gun in Baghdad while guarding Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel who are trained to eliminate roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.