Sergeant Tyrone Hassel III, 23, was shot and killed outside his father’s home in Michigan on December 31, 2018, while he was on leave visiting family for the holidays. Hassel had recently completed a nine-month tour of duty in South Korea.
His wife, Kemia Nekenah Hassel, is accused of plotting his murder along with her alleged boyfriend, Jeremy Cuellar, in order to receive Army death benefits. You can read more about the criminal case here.
Hassel is being remembered by friends and family as a proud soldier, devoted father and loving son.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Tyrone Hassel III Was Born & Raised in Benton Harbor, Michigan & Graduated High School With Honors
Tyrone Hassel III spent his childhood in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It is located along Lake Michigan in the southern part of the state in Berrian County.
He was born on August 23, 1995. His parents are Tyrone Hassel Jr. and LaShanda Jones.
According to the obituary, Hassel excelled in school. He graduated high school with honors in 2013. Hassel was part of the marching band and Junior ROTC. He was also the treasurer of the Kappa League.
2. Hassel Earned a Scholarship to Grand Valley State University & Studied Mechanical Engineering
Tyrone Hassel began taking college classes while he was still in high school. He enrolled at Grand Valley State University in 2012 after earning an honors scholarhsip. He majored in mechanical engineering.
According to his Facebook page, Hassel did a good amount of traveling before choosing a college. One of the schools he considered was Howard University in Washington, D.C. He shared his excitement about touring the city in late 2011. In the post embedded above, Hassel wrote, “I am standing where Martin Luther king gave his I have a dream speech!!”
During his college tour, Hassel also visited Baltimore, Maryland; Syracuse, New York; Houston, Texas; and New Orleans, Lousiana.
3. Tyrone Hassel Joined the Army in January 2015 & Earned Honors For His Service
Tyrone Hassel III’s father, Tyrone Hassel Jr, said that his son decided to join the Army during his second year at Grand Valley State. Hassel Jr. wrote on a GoFundMe campaign that Tyrone “wanted to join the army and fight for our Country. He was proud to be a soldier.”
Hassel was based for a time in Fort Carson, Colorado. He posted a photo of the base on July 2, 20215, writing, “So much around here. Ain’t use to it. #new #home.”
He shared on his Twitter profile that he moved to Georgia in June of 2017 and had plans to buy a house. He and wife Kemia lived in Hinesville near Fort Stewart.
Hassel received honors for his service. His awards included the Army Achievement Medal and the German Army Proficiency Badge. He was promoted to Sergeant on October 31, 2017. Before his death, he had recently completed a nine-month deployment in South Korea.
4. Hassel Leaves Behind a Baby Son Also Named Tyrone & Nine Siblings
Tyrone Hassel III leaves behind a baby son, Tyrone Hassel IV. Hassel shared a photo from April 28, 2018, from what appears to be his son’s first birthday party.
He shared photos from December 1, 2018, when he gave his son his first haircut. He joked that his son “wouldn’t let me finesse it like I wanted to. But I think it’s a job well done for his first cut.”
Hassel is also survived by seven brothers and two sisters: Ty’quan Hassel, Ty’quae Hassel Tyreik Hassel, Zailyn Hassel, Carmeron Gavin, Benny Newman, Tyshon Newman, Zaiyah Hassel and Keiaeja Palmer.
Hassel married Kemia Martin, a Specialist in the Army, on May 17, 2017.
5. Hassel Was Described as Someone Who Had a ‘True Zeal For Life’ & a ‘Jovial Personality’
Tyrone Hassel III was described by his family members as a “devoted husband, father, son, brother, and soldier. He had a jovial personality and loved having a good time, whether he was playing pool, basketball, baseball or taking care of his dogs. Tyrone enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, he had a true zeal for life.”
His humor was on full display on his social media pages. For example, on November 21, 2018, he posted a video of himself dancing around while vaccuming the floor. The caption read, “When it’s the day before Thanksgiving and you can already taste the deep fried turkey and baked macaroni??”
Hassel seemed to maintain a postitive attitude. He wrote on Twitter in 2015, “Life is like a battery. Gotta have your positives, gotta have your negatives. ?lord know I pray for betta days??.”
His favorite quote listed on Facebook was: “Laugh at the past. Live today. And dream about the future.”