A special forces soldier was killed Tuesday in a routine free fall parachute training exercise in southern Arizona, an Army spokesman said Wednesday. The soldier was identified as 36-year-old Master Sergeant Nathan Goodman, according to Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Bymer said in a statement Goodman's death was under investigation. Free falling is when parachutists jump from an aircraft and delay opening their parachutes.
Bymer said the incident happened near Eloy, Arizona, which is about 55 miles south-east of Phoenix. According to the Army Times, special operations forces regularly conduct advanced parachute training in Eloy.
Goodman, who was born in Pasadena, California, and grew up near Chicago, enlisted in the Army in 2002, according to Bymer. He was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa and Kyrgyzstan.
In a statement, Colonel Nathan Prussian, a special forces group commander, said Goodman was "beloved" and called him "an exceptional leader in the Special Operations community."