Two Fort Riley soldiers reported dead in one week

Sgt. Laird Landis (left) and Sgt. Shaun Covington (right). Photo credit: Facebook

Two soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas – the home of the 1st Infantry Division – have been found dead within a week of each other.

On March 21st, 25-year-old Sgt. Shaun Covington was reported to have been found dead in a parked vehicle in Manhattan, Kansas – which is just west of Fort Riley.

The Riley County Police department said Covington suffered from a gunshot wound and they did not suspect any foul play, according to WIBW.

Covington was a signal support noncommissioned officer assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

“The Quarterhorse squadron is deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Covington,” said Lt. Col. Bradley Laauwe, commander 1st Sqdn, 4th Cav. Regt. “We are prepared to support Shaun’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Covington had been at Fort riley since February 2013 and deployed twice, once to Afghanistan in 2011, and to in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in June of 2014.

Yesterday, a second soldier from Fort Riley was reported dead in his Junction City, Kansas home.

According to a statement released, 29-year-old Sgt. Laird Landis was found unresponsive by his wife, Kayla on April 1st. He was pronounced dead by first responders when they arrived to the scene. Investigators are still trying to determine how he died

“We are all in shock and grieving the loss of our beloved Laird,” said Kayla. “We ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

Investigators are still trying to determine the 29-year-old Sergeant’s cause of death.

Sergeant Landis was an infantryman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Lt. Col. Bryan Harris, commander of 2nd Battalion, said, “Soldiers of the ‘Dreadnaught’ battalion are saddened by the loss of Sgt. Landis,” “The battalion will support Laird’s family and friends during this time of passing.”

Sgt. Landis deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 – the same year he joined the Army – where he received a Purple Heart. In 2014 he deployed to Kuwait and upon his return he received orders to Fort Riley, Kansans.

He is an Abilene, Kansas native and is survived by his daughter, 2-year-old Emma Grace; his parents, Dale and Carol; and his sister, Daneen, according to WIBW.

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