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Coachella Valley Resident Hunter Lopez, 22, among Marines killed in Kabul

A Coachella Valley man is among the 13 service members killed in an attack on the Kabul airport Thursday, Aug. 26, as the United States pulls out of Afghanistan after almost 20 years in the country.

Coachella Valley Resident Hunter Lopez, 22, among Marines killed in Kabul

Hunter Lopez, 22, was the son of two members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and had planned on joining the agency himself after his deployment ended, according to the Riverside Sheriff’s Association.

“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Hunter, who chose to follow a life of service, selflessness, courage and sacrifice, like his parents,” the RSA said.

Hunter Lopez, 22, among Marines killed in Kabul

Lopez was the son of Riverside Deputy Sheriff Alicia Lopez and Riverside Sheriff’s Captain Herman Lopez, according to the RSA.

Memorial Service In La Quinta, California September, 17, 2021 honoring our fallen soldier Hunter Lopez by Sean Webb / Coachellavalley.com
Memorial Service In La Quinta, California September, 17, 2021 honoring our fallen soldier Hunter Lopez by Sean Webb / Coachellavalley.com

The outpouring from Social Media has been heartbreaking and immense:

Lopez was a Sheriff’s Explorer Scout with the Palm Desert Station from September 2014 to August 2017, the statement said. According to the association, Lopez was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, and planned to join the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department after his deployment ended.

The Lopez family is requesting that any who wish to make donations to honor his memory contribute to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation.

More than 180 people, including 13 American service members, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at the airport Thursday, which the United States is blaming on an Islamic State splinter group. It was the deadliest day for U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan since 2011.

Lopez is at least the second member of the military from Riverside County to have died in the attack. Lance Cpl. Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Nikoui, who is from Norco, also was killed while stationed at the Kabul airport.

Killed in Kabul

Nikoui’s father told the media that the Marines came to his door hours after the attack to notify him of his son’d death.

“I haven’t gone to bed all night,” Nikoui told the publication. “I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on.”

The city of Norco plans to honor Nikoui by placing his name on the “Lest We Forget Wall” at the George A. Ingalls Veterans Memorial Plaza, which honors city residents who made the ultimate sacrifice, the city tweeted. There is also a Gold Star Families Memorial monument under construction at the site.

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