Mourners are preparing to line up and pay their respects along a homecoming procession route from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to Richmond Hill on Saturday, when the body of Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters will be returned to his family.
Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill was one of the three sailors killed in the shooting last week at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. All three were students at Naval Aviation Schools Command. Eight others were injured.
Authorities identified the shooter as 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, of the Royal Saudi Air Force, and said he was studying at the same institution in Pensacola. Alshamrani was fatally shot at the scene. The FBI said it is investigating the case on the presumption that it was an act of terrorism.
Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, the procession for Walters will travel south on Interstate 95 to Georgia 204 and then south on U.S. 17 to the Richmond Hill Funeral Home at 8901 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill.
To welcome home the Effingham County High School graduate, the community has already put up U.S. flags along the route, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter said.
“We are welcoming home a hero,” Carpenter said. “And we are wrapping him and his family in community support and love.”
Family and friends will honor Walters at a 1 p.m. service at Compassion Christian Church in Savannah on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking supporters to send donations in Walters’ memory to the Bryan County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1071, Pembroke, Ga. 31321, with the memo: “Cameron Walters Memorial.”
“Cameron never met a stranger,” says his obituary. “He was always smiling and lit up any room he walked into.”
On Thursday, Vice Admiral Mary Jackson, the commander of Navy Installations Command, visited Naval Air Station Pensacola, praising those who responded to the shooting. Navy police officers and masters at arms first responded and were soon joined by deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Navy.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so proud of each and every one of you,” Jackson told the Navy Security Force personnel there. “I can’t put myself in your shoes, and I cannot imagine what you have been through, but I do know for sure: You responded in such a miraculous manner, you saved people’s lives.”
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