Updated 6:54 p.m. M.D.T.
North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor, on leave to serve in the Utah National Guard, was killed Saturday in what is being called an “apparent insider attack” in Afghanistan.
North Ogden City Councilman Phillip Swanson said military officials had notified Taylor’s family that he was one of two American soldiers attacked at the Kabul Military Training Center early Saturday.
A member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces was killed immediately by other Afghan troops after shooting Taylor and wounding another serviceman. The incident is under investigation.
The Utah National Guard confirmed Saturday that one of its own has been killed at the training center, but declined to confirm that Taylor, who held the rank of major, had died. A news conference has been scheduled for Sunday at the Guard’s Draper headquarters with Gov. Gary Herbert and Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the adjutant general.
"My heart breaks for the loss and sacrifice of our soldier, particularly for the family," Burton said in a statement. "What we do for our country is very dangerous business, but it's important to remember why we do it. The threat is very real.”
Herbert released a statement calling on all Utahns to mourn for Taylor and his family.
“I am heartbroken at the news that we lost one of our own today in Afghanistan and feel completely humbled by the service and the ultimate sacrifice offered by this brave and selfless soldier,” Herbert said.
The Utah National Guard described the killed soldier as a trained professional who was “fully committed to the community, the country and the mission.”
There was an outpouring on social media from other state and local officials. Draper Mayor Troy Walker called Taylor “an outstanding man and mayor.”
“I have the utmost respect for Brent as a soldier, selflessly serving our country,” Walker said in a statement. “He is a true American hero.”
Taylor had been on a temporary military deployment this year and served in the National Guard for 12 years, seven of those on active duty, according to his biography on the North Ogden City web page. His service includes two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, where he was a combat advisor to the Afghan Border Police.
Taylor served four years on the city council before becoming mayor in 2013. He and his wife, Jennie Ashworth Taylor, have seven children.