A former Summerville police officer was identified Saturday as one of three Americans killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan.
Matthew E. Fineran, 42, was fatally wounded Thursday in a shooting at Kabul airport, according to a news release from Praetorian Standard, Inc., a government contractor. The attacker, who was reportedly dressed in an Afghan uniform, was killed at the scene.
Fineran previously worked as a K-9 handler with the Summerville Police Department from 2000 to 2004, Capt. Jon Rogers said.
Also killed in the shooting were Walter D. Fisher, of North Myrtle Beach, and Jason D. Landphair, of Fayetteville, N.C., the release said. Bradley A. James, of Atlanta, was wounded in the shooting. He was being treated Saturday for injuries that were considered serious, but not life threatening.
“These brave men died protecting their fellow Americans. They are heroes, and we are deeply saddened by their tragic deaths,” Praetorian’s Executive Director Richard Davis said in the release.
Davis, who referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack, served as a command sergeant major in the U.S. Army’s Special Operations community prior to heading Praetorian.
The contracting company specializes in a variety of military efforts that include specialized logistics and security, according to its web site. Praetorian is based in Fayetteville, N.C., with additional offices in Virginia, Maryland, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe.
The families of the victims have been notified of the deaths. Representatives from the contracting company are assisting them during this difficult time, the release said.
“The families have requested that their privacy be respected as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, including at the funerals, which are pending arrangement,” the release said.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday that the men who died were Defense Department contractors, but the circumstances of the attack were under investigation, The Associated Press reported.
Kirby expressed sympathy for the families of the victims and said the shootings are “a tragic and grim reminder that Afghanistan still remains a dangerous place in many ways.”
The U.S. has 10,600 troops training and advising Afghan forces, but the U.S. combat role ended last month.
In Afghanistan on Friday, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, identified the attacker as Hessanullha from Laghman province. He said the Taliban fighter had infiltrated the ranks of Afghan forces to stage the attack at Kabul’s international airport and wore an Afghan police uniform. The attacker was killed at the scene.
Kirby said he could not confirm or deny that the Taliban played a role in the attack.
The attack remains under investigation. Further details will be released by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the release said.