The Nigerien military recovered the body of a fourth U.S. service member who was killed along with three Green Berets in an ambush on Wednesday while they were on a patrol, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders confirmed on Friday, October 6.
When asked when President Donald J. Trump was informed of what happened, she said he got the notification yesterday.
“I know that it was pretty soon after that had been discovered,” Sanders said. She noted that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly kept the president updated constantly on the situation as it evolved.
CNN reported on Friday, citing U.S. officials, that a 12-member group of American service members were leaving a meeting in unarmored trucks when they came under fire from up to 50 fighters, likely affiliated with ISIS.
The reason the service member got separated during the firefight remains unclear, but US authorities do not believe the individual was in enemy hands, according to media reports.
Update #3: U.S. Africa Command statement on situation in Niger – https://t.co/UMVj7AXnEL pic.twitter.com/lmHo2jtW3T
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) October 6, 2017
Update October 7
The U.S. Department of Defense identified the killed service member as Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida. He was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.