MIAMI – A grieving mother clutched onto her son's flag-draped casket, nearly collapsing as the pain became almost too much to bear.
The remains of Sgt. Alexis Sanchez arrived at Miami International Airport on Tuesday afternoon from Colorado, where he was stationed at Fort Carson.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews paid their respects and performed a water cannon salute, honoring a last flight for a fallen soldier.
Police said Sanchez, 30, was at home and off duty when he was shot by a close friend last month.
That friend, also a soldier, was identified as William Garcia.
Garcia, 22, told police he was messing around with a gun when it accidentally discharged. He's facing a manslaughter charge.
Sanchez was born in Cuba and moved to Miami when he was only 4 years old.
He joined the U.S. Army in 2014, spending time in Arlington, Virginia, and the last two years in Fort Carson.
He was a devoted father, leaving behind a 2-year-old son named Grayson.