Devin J. Kuhn, 24, a Northeast Philadelphia native and an Army Ranger, died Wednesday, Jan. 31, in an accidental shooting while at Camp Rilea, Ore., for training exercises, according to the Army.
Spc. Kuhn, who had just turned 24, sustained injuries from a shot fired at close range while in the housing area of the base, his family was told. He was pronounced dead on arrival in the emergency room at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria.
The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office said no charges had been filed. The Army is investigating the shooting and provided no further details.
Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ken Burgess, said in a statement: “Devin loved God, his wife, his family, and he loved being a Ranger. He was taken from us too early in a tragic accident, but we endeavor to honor his life and service to this nation.”
Spc. Kuhn enlisted in April 2015. He attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, and the Army Ranger Course.
“I was absolutely so proud of him,” said his father, James, a Philadelphia firefighter. “I don’t know if I could have done what he did. His family and I were in Fort Benning, Ga., so much that you would think we were assigned there. I pinned his Ranger Tab on him.
“He was proud, but very humble about his service. He didn’t advertise that he was a Ranger. If it wasn’t for his haircut, you wouldn’t have any idea he was a Ranger.”
James Kuhn said the battalion commander told him his son died from a shot fired at close range in a housing area of the base, and that the shooting was related to training. Maj. Stephen Bomar told KGW8 News, a Portland television station, that the shooting happened after training hours. He told the station that loaded guns aren’t allowed in the housing area at Camp Rilea.
In December 2015, Spc. Kuhn was assigned to Alpha Company, Second Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash, where he served as an automatic rifleman. From November 2016 to February 2017, he was deployed to active duty in Afghanistan.
While deployed, Spc. Kuhn participated in numerous special operations raids against multiple terrorist networks. He also participated in training events such as live fire training exercises and mountain warfare training.
Born in Philadelphia, Spc. Kuhn graduated in 2013 from Archbishop Ryan High School, where he played junior varsity baseball and soccer, and ran varsity track.
He enjoyed writing music and playing his guitar. A outdoorsman and athlete, he enjoyed hiking, snow skiing, golfing, and running in half-marathons.
Spc. Kuhn received the Army Achievement Award, the National Defense Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab, according to the Army. He also received the Combat Infantry Badge after his deployment.
Spc. Kuhn had been married since last Dec. 31 to Brittany A. Kochis of Bensalem.
In addition to his wife and father, he is survived by his mother, Lynn Brockwell Kuhn; grandmother Phyllis Brockwell; a sister; and an extended family.
A celebration of life will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, and 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at John F. Givnish Life Celebration Home, 10975 Academy Rd. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. at the Church of St. Ephrem, 5400 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem. Interment is in the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown Township, Bucks County.
Memorial donations may be made to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), 3033 Wilson Blvd., Suite 630, Arlington, Va. 22201 or at www.taps.org.