COLUMBIA, S.C.— A 19-year-old Army National Guard soldier who was an Owatonna native was found dead at a South Carolina training base, officials confirmed Thursday.

Private Connor J. McGurran was found unresponsive Wednesday morning following a training exercise at Fort Jackson, according to a statement released by the U.S. Army.

According to a statement released by the Minnesota Army National Guard, McGurran was immediately transported to Providence Hospital where he was pronounced dead by medical authorities. An investigation into the cause of his death is being conducted.

McGurran was born May 3, 2000, in Owatonna and obtained a GED in the fall of 2019. He enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on Sept. 12, and began training with the Arden Hills Recruit Sustainment program. He reported to Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson in October and was on track to become a Bradly fighting vehicle system maintainer.

“I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to the family and loved ones of Pvt. Connor McGurran. He was a soldier with a promising future in our organization. We will provide every comfort to his family and the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, who are devastated by his untimely death. This is a tragic loss for the Minnesota National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, Minnesota National Guard, Recruiting and Retention Commander.

Also expressing condolences was state Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, whose legislative district includes Owatonna.

“I am filled with sorrow today. It is always a horrible feeling losing a brother or sister of the armed forces,” said Jasinski in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “As we wait for more information about what happened, I hope Pvt. McGurran’s family knows that all of Minnesota is grieving with them.”

Reach Managing Editor Jeffrey Jackson at 444-2371 or follow him on Twitter @OPPJeffrey.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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