Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, age 21, is one of the four Marines who died in the Chattanooga shootings on Thursday.
Wells is the second Marine identified as having been killed by Kuwati born gunman Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez. The first, Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, was identified early Friday morning.
This is a developing story, but here is what we know so far.
1. He Was a Student at Georgia Southern University
According to his Facebook page, Lance Cpl. Wells had attended Georgia Southern University starting in 2012, where he had studied history. He had not graduated, but had gone to join the Marines instead.
2. He Was From Marietta, Georgia
According to family spokesman Andy Kingery, Corporal Wells had attended Sprayberry High School in Cobb County, where he had graduated in 2012.
Friends and family members have continued to express their grievances at the loss. Kingery, speaking on behalf of the family, told WSBTV “We don’t understand the whys. Senseless is a word used too often but this you can’t even hang your hat on.”
Friend Caleb Wheeler, writing on Wells’s Facebook wall, said: “Skip Wells, it was one of the pleasures of my life to have had the chance to know you. Until the time comes when I see you again, I will forever have a void in my life that can never be filled.”
3. His Friends Say ‘You Couldn’t Find a Nicer Guy’
Speaking to CNN, Garrett Reed, a friend of Corporal Wells since elementary school, said that Wells was “just a funny guy, real caring, a real real nice guy. You couldn’t find a nicer guy than him.”
When asked why Wells wanted to serve in the Marines, Reed replied “He just loved his country.”
4. He Comes From a Military Family
According to childhood friend Garrett Reed, Corporal Wells comes from a military family, with his mother, Cathy Wells, also serving in the Marines, as well as his grandfather.
“My son died doing what he loved for the love of his country and his family,” Cathy Wells told CNN.
He was also a member of the ROTC, or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, program. According to The New York Times, Wells had wanted to join the Marines since he was a junior at Sprayberry High School.
5. He Joined the Marines Because of a “Call To Serve” and Was an Ardent Defender of the Flag
Regarding his decision to join the Marines, spokesman Andy Kingery told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Corporal Wells “went to college, (but) felt he wasn’t called to that and felt a calling to serve — in the Marines.”
According to The New York Times, Corporal Wells had only been in Chattanooga for a two-week training session.
Corporal Wells was also an ardent defender of the national flag, writing on Facebook on April 29th:
Dear people walking and desecrating the National Flag,
Not like people died under that flag to free slaves in 1861-1865, not like the 54th Mass infantry (all black infantry) with their white commander charged into a Fort under that flag. Not like MLK jr marched while CARRYING that flag. Not like myself and countless others have fought and died under that flag to provide the blanket of security that you sleep under, it’s okay you feel so strongly? How about you grab a rifle and stand a post with us…. Oh wait of course you don’t know anything about sacrifice or anything of that nature, everything has to be given to you because you “earned it” and you “deserve it” it’s okay, we, the .05 percent of the nation with protect you.
You’re welcome for that blanket,
Veterans and currently serving Military