BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio (WCMH) – No question, one family here on Buckeye Lake is grieving. Kimpton Wells calls this area home.
Tonight, he is in Chattanooga — having received the terrible news that his son was killed in Thursday’s shooting.
Lance Corporal Skip Wells was one of those Marines killed in Tennessee.
Family and friends tell us the 21-year-old had dreams of becoming a drill sergeant.
According to his girlfriend, the two were texting at the time of the shooting.
Wells’ final text read “active shooter” in all caps — letting his girlfriend Caroline Dove know what was happening.
She thought he was kidding, replying, “You are so weird.”
Then hours of silence.
“I love you,” she tried. Hours more passed, the news out of Chattanooga becoming clearer. “Hon, I need you to answer me please,” she wrote.
It would not be until Friday that she learned his fate.
Wells and Dove met at Georgia Southern University, but Wells soon followed in his family footsteps and enlisted.
His grandfather had been in the Air Force, and his grandmother and mother served in the Navy, Dove said.
Through tears, Dove remembered her boyfriend’s love of flag football and Nerf guns, his passion for U.S. history, his ability to handle her when she was grouchy and how good he was at listening.
He dreamed of being a drill sergeant, and when they last saw each other around Valentine’s Day, he gave her a gold-and-silver ring. When the time came to propose, she said, he knew to ask her parents first.
Wells’ mother was watching television coverage of the shooting when Marines appeared at her door. She knew what the visit meant.
“Every service parent, especially moms, dreads opening the front door and seeing people in uniform,” said Andy Kingery, a friend who is acting as a family spokesman.
His father is expected to return home Monday.