UPDATE: NBC4’s sister station WANE in Fort Wayne, Indiana has reported that Randall Smith passed away around 4:00 a.m. Saturday.
Sailor dies after injuries in Chattanooga shooting
PAULDING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) A sailor wounded in the Tennesse attacks yesterday was from Paulding, Ohio.
Randall Smith was a logistics specialist. He grew up in this small town near the Indiana border.
It is small town America in the heartland. At the local VFW post they are letting everyone know that Randall Smith is one of their own, and are urging residents to pray for him.
Just a little further north in the small town of Cecil, there is family.
“It’s terrible. You think ‘oh that’s not going to happen to your family,’ but by gum it can. It can happen anywhere,” said Darlene Proxmire, his step-grandmother.
And it did, in a Tennessee recruiting center, and a navy operational support center.
A small town and a family could hardly believe the news,
“I immediately turned it on CNN and, wow, it was awful,” Proxmire said.
Randall Smith was a baseball player. After graduation he went to Defiance College on a baseball scholarship. He was injured and couldn’t play. He then joined the Navy.
His duty in Tennessee kept his safe until yesterday.
“Because he was never shipped over there where, you know, the fighting and all that was at,” Proxmire said. “He loved the Navy. He loved it in there.”
His more immediate family is now with him at the hospital in Chattanooga.