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Fatally Shot Squadron Commander's Wife Asks Community For Privacy And Prayers

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Louisa Jonas
/
Texas Public Radio
Authorities respond to a murder-suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on Friday, April 8, 2016.

The family of the Lieutenant Colonel who was shot to death at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on Friday is asking for privacy. 

Lieutenant Colonel William A. Schroeder's wife is asking that the community respect the family’s privacy while they mourn.

"First and foremost please understand that our family is mourning the loss of my loving husband and wonderful father to our two children," she wrote in a statement that was shared Monday by Air Force officials. "We ask that you please respect our need to grieve privately during this extremely difficult time. Your thoughts, prayers and understanding are very much needed and appreciated."

Over the weekend, military officials confirmed the names and ranks of the dead. They say Schroeder, 39, the 342nd Training Squadron Commander, was shot and killed by Technical Sergeant Steven D. Bellino, 41, who then killed himself. 

In a Facebook post for the "37 TRW Family," Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards wrote: 

"I worked closely with Lt. Col. Schroeder; and my wife Vanessa and I knew his family--he was an amazing Airman, father and husband. Our focus at this time is to take care of Lt. Col. Schroeder's family who is here in the local area. He leaves behind a wife and two small children--we will care for and comfort them as best we can. We will also take care of the family members and friends who are grieving the loss of TSgt Bellino."

 

Edwards went on to say that the investigation continues and a team of Air Force special investigators are leading the investigation, with support from the FBI.

 

"We will pass on information at the conclusion of the investigation," he wrote. "Until then, please do not speculate over social media. It's simply unfair to the family members and friends who are grieving and searching for answers."

 

Officials declined to give details about a motive. The military with the help of the FBI continues its investigation. It is unclear whether the Bellino was authorized to have weapons on base, or whether security precautions failed.  

A memorial service is being planned.