Utahns grieve for mayor killed in Afghanistan in 'apparent insider attack'

Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and an energetic and beloved figure in Utah politics, was kill...

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 8:40 AM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 8:40 AM

Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and an energetic and beloved figure in Utah politics, was killed Saturday in an incident in Afghanistan, where he was serving as a member of the state National Guard, the Pentagon announced Sunday.

The unexpected death of Taylor, who was months from finishing his tour and is survived by seven children and his wife Jennie, drew an outpouring of grief in Utah and on social media late Saturday.

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Last month on his 15th wedding anniversary, Taylor penned a post on Facebook about his "rock star wife," who he said had been "superwoman through birthing and raising seven children, and through four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Pentagon confirmed Sunday that Taylor was killed in the attack, but did not offer additional details of the attack.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the state National Guard adjutant general, plan to hold a press conference at noon on Sunday to discuss the details of the incident. In a press release, the Utah National Guard said an unnamed guardsman was killed in Kabul Saturday in "an apparent insider attack" by an Afghan soldier. The incident is under investigation.

Initial reports indicate that the attacker was a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The assailant "was immediately killed by other Afghan Forces," according to the release.

State and city leaders, including Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love and GOP Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, praised Taylor's service and courage Saturday night on social media, as his constituents posted their remembrances of a mayor who was always available to them.

Friends described Taylor as a passionate and outgoing mayor who was continually looking for new ways to serve his country and his state. When he was elected to the City Council of North Ogden in 2009, and became mayor in 2013, he was determined to bring the booming economic growth that was happening in other parts of Utah to his town, which he felt had untapped potential at that time.

The Brigham Young University graduate returned to Afghanistan in January after serving two tours of duty during the Iraq War and one in Afghanistan. For his fourth tour, he took a temporary leave of absence from his mayoral duties.

Brent Chugg, who temporarily took on the role of acting mayor of North Ogden while Taylor was deployed, said Taylor was a "great patriotic person" who had "a great love for his country."

Cox, who became friends with Taylor as they made the rounds of the "rubber chicken" circuit of Utah politics together, said Taylor's motivation for entering politics was simple.

"He always wanted to give back and make the world a better place," Cox said in a telephone interview Saturday night. "He is just one of the good guys, who had an incredibly bright future ahead of him."

Cox noted that he also "cared deeply about the Afghan people and what they were trying to accomplish."

"Serving in Afghanistan, he was able to share through social media with his friends and his city many of his adventures, and things that were happening over there," Cox said. "Seeing that, not through the news media, but through his own experiences, really personalized it for so many of us in this now eternal war that we're continuing to fight. We forget about the human nature of war, and he was able to bring that home to us in very personal, and funny, and powerful ways."

Taylor's last Facebook post touched on how inspired he had been by the elections in Afghanistan, as he encouraged people in the US to vote on Tuesday.

"As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote," Taylor wrote. "And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. 'United we stand, divided we fall.' God Bless America."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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