Navy IDs SEAL killed in Ariz. parachuting accident

U.S. Navy SEAL Brett David Shadle is seen in this undated picture provided by Naval Special Warfare Command. Naval Special Warfare Command

U.S. Navy SEAL Brett David Shadle is seen in this undated picture provided by Naval Special Warfare Command.
Naval Special Warfare Command

The military identified the U.S. Navy SEAL who died in a parachute training accident in Arizona earlier this week.

U.S. military officials confirmed to CBS News Saturday that Special Warfare Operator Chief Brett David Shadle, 31, died Thursday when he and another SEAL collided in midair during a parachute training exercise over the rugged desert of southern Arizona.

Shadle was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, where he was pronounced dead. The other SEAL — an unidentified E-6 petty officer first class — remained in stable condition Saturday at the Tucson hospital.

Military officials said the accident was under investigation.

The Associated Press and other news outlets reported Saturday that Shadle was a highly decorated member of the Navy's famed SEAL Team 6, but CBS News could not confirm whether Shadle was a member of that unit.

Shadle's biographical data provided to CBS News show that Shadle, of Elizabethville, Pa., had been stationed in Virginia.

Family members told the AP that Shadle was married and had a 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.

His uncle Donald Shadle, 67, of Elizabethville, expressed disbelief, saying his nephew had been on many overseas missions only to come back and get killed during a training exercise.

"He was always a good kid, and he always wanted to be a Navy SEAL and that's what he did," Donald Shadle said.

Shadle enlisted in the Navy in July 2000. The following year he completed his SEAL training and was assigned to his first unit in early 2002.

Navy officials said Shadle had earned multiple Bronze Star Medals with Valor and several service ribbons. While details about his deployments were secret, officials confirmed he had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shadle and a fellow SEAL were practicing "routine military free-fall training" when the accident occurred Thursday afternoon, said U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Kenneth McGraw. The SEALs collided in midair and landed in separate areas.

The command has a parachute testing and training facility at the Pinal Airpark northeast of Tucson, McGraw said. Training programs are operated there year-round.

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