The Navy SEAL team leader killed in a training accident was a longtime SEAL who had survived numerous missions and lost several comrades, including fellow members of his Platoon Seven, NBC reported.
Special Purpose Unit Seven (SPUD), which trains for future operations, were conducting a live-fire event on Wednesday in San Diego, California, when a portion of a live-fire range collapsed, the SEALs said in a statement Thursday.
Christopher Ryan Owens, 38, a 17-year SEAL veteran, was accidentally shot and killed.
Owens’ current wife, Vanessa, released a statement to NBC, calling him her “rock,” adding that she is “broken-hearted and in disbelief that he is gone.” She said she has “kept his words and quotes close to my heart to drive me through this difficult time. His words to his fellow SEALs were truly a motto for me; never lose your spirit. I know Chris to be a man of honor and love.”
“All SEALs and all Americans mourn the loss of another fallen brother,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Chris Owens was a real asset to our team, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. I know all Sailors at U.S. Naval Special Warfare will join me in mourning his loss, and my deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Vanessa.”
The Navy said its primary investigator is from its Training and Evaluation Command.