GRAND FORKS, N.D. - No suspects are being sought in a shooting that left two airmen dead at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, the military said Tuesday. Family members of one of the airmen have suggested that the incident was a murder-suicide.
“The two fatalities were the only ones involved in the incident,” base spokeswoman Lea Greene told The Associated Press.
The deceased have been identified as Natasha Aposhian of Chandler, Arizona, and 20-year-old Julian Torres of Texas.
Aposhian's family told FOX 10 that she was a victim of domestic violence.
The family released a statement regarding her death:
"We’re torn apart by the loss of our daughter to a senseless act of domestic violence. Natasha had recently joined the Air Force and was just starting to embark on a career serving her country. It’s a tragedy she won’t get to fulfill her hopes and dreams. We ask that you pray for her, our family and the countless victims of these crimes," the statement reads.
Base Spokeswoman Lea Greenewould not comment on whether investigators believe the Monday morning shooting was an apparent murder-suicide.
“The investigation could take weeks, if not months,” she said
Medical teams are providing disaster mental health services to help people who are affected, the base said.
The airmen were members of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. Greene said the shooting occurred at a dormitory on base for single enlisted airmen early in their military careers.
The base specializes in unmanned aircraft operations and is located about 15 miles west of Grand Forks. The base is home to about 1,600 military members and 900 civilian employees.
Her best friend, Rachel Paczesny, says they never missed a call. When Aposhian missed a Snapchat message, that's when she grew concerned. She said she “didn’t get a reply and I didn’t know why.”
A vigil for Aposhian was held in Arizona on Wednesday where loved ones say she was a victim of domestic violence.
“She was also in a very abusive relationship so I mean all I could do was be there for her at a distance and guide her in ways that I thought would be most beneficial for her," Paczesny said.
Now, she wants to remember her best friend's life, saying she had a glow, full of love and did not deserve to die.
“And everyday, it’s just gonna get harder and harder. I know people say it’s gonna get easier but when you’re expecting to talk to your best friend everyday and everyday goes by and you don’t get to, it’s not gonna get easier," Paczesny said.