New Yorker among Marines killed in Afghanistan

Brother: Afghan soldier killed 2 Marines

Posted: Updated:
Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Two special ops Marines, including one from New York, were killed in Afghanistan over the weekend, the Department of Defense announced. A family member said an Afghan soldier killed the Marines.

Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, 39, of Warwick, N.Y., and Cpl. David M. Sonka, 23, of Parker, Colo., were conducting combat operations in Farah province when they were killed on May 4, 2013, the Pentagon announced.

The military is investigating their deaths but did not release any more information.

However, Philip Christian told local media in Warwick that his brother and another Marine were training Afghan soldiers when one of them turned on the Americans and shot them during a patrol, the AP reported.

Christian grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and went to high school in Ramsey, N.J., the AP reported.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in Christian's honor on May 9.

"I join with all New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Staff Sgt. Christian," Cuomo said. "I extend my deepest sympathy to his family, his friends and his fellow Marines. We will honor his service and sacrifice and his dedication to our nation."

Christian and Sonka were assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

Warwick, where Christian's mother lives, is a community in Orange County.

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