ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A U.S. Army sergeant killed in last week’s shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, was been buried Saturday in the Missouri town where he went to high school and met his wife.
Sgt. Timothy Owens, originally from Effingham, Ill., was among three soldiers killed April 2 when a gunman fired on the military base. Sixteen others were wounded before the gunman committed suicide. The 37-year-old Owens, who served in Iraq and Kuwait, was buried in Rolla, Mo., where he lived in the 1990s.
The Rolla Daily News reported that as many as 75 motorcyclists from the Rolla Patriot Guard Riders accompanied the casket before the service at Rolla’s First Baptist Church and afterward, to Lake Springs Cemetery in rural Phelps County.
As the casket left the church, Patriot Guard Riders, law enforcement officers and residents lined the sidewalk outside and saluted.
Rolla resident Bill Dobkins, a member of the Rolla Patriot Guard Riders, said he was once a neighbor of Owens’ wife and babysat for her.
“They were like family,” Dobkins said of the former Billie Humphrey’s family.
Taking part in the escort was a “real honor” and a “humbling experience,” Dobkins said.
Owens, who dropped out of high school in 1995, earned an equivalency diploma after joining the Army in 2004.
He enlisted as a motor transport operator and did some of his training at southern Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood. He was most recently in the 154th Transportation Company in the 49th Movement Control Battalion in the 13th Sustainment Command at Fort Hood.
Owens was deployed to Iraq from January to December 2005. He later served in Kuwait from January to December 2010.
The Fort Hood gunman was identified as Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34. There was a wake Friday for Lopez in Puerto Rico. A family spokesman said he was scheduled to be buried Saturday in his hometown of Guayanilla.
Information from: Rolla Daily News, http://www.therolladailynews.com