UPDATE | Name released of W.Va. National Guardsman killed in training exercise

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SUFFOLK, Va. (WSAZ/AP) -- UPDATE 4/18/19 @ 5:18 p.m.
The name of a West Virginia National Guardsman who died during a training exercise has been released.

Sgt. Nicholas Sheperty died in a military parachute training exercise at the Suffolk Executive Airport in Virginia.

During his decorated 17-year military career, Sgt. Sheperty received several awards including The Bronze Star.

Sgt. Sheperty joined the military in 2002 and went on to serve multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After serving in the Green Berets, Sgt. Sheperty joined the West Virginia National Guard in 2010.

Sgt. Sheperty was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Airborne Group, stationed in Kingwood W.Va, when he was killed.

On Thursday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said, "This is an extremely sad day for West Virginia. We owe everything we have to the men and women who step up and make sacrifices to protect our country's freedom."

"It's my hope that people understand, each and every day, there are men and women in the armed forces who are conducting both operations and training in support of the defense of our Nation in a dangerous environment. Not enough people are paying attention while our Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors are putting their lives on the line for the cause of freedom." said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. "Let us never forget the life and legacy of Sgt. 1st Class Nick Sheperty, the sacrifice he made or the sacrifice his family will endure from this tragic incident."

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/18/19
A West Virginia National Guardsman has died in a military parachute training exercise at the Suffolk Executive Airport in Virginia.

The West Virginia National Guard issued a release about the Wednesday death that said a related press conference is scheduled for Thursday.

Suffolk police and first responders say they received a call about the injured parachutist Wednesday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said the release of the man's identity was pending notification of his next of kin.