Baker: Lawrence Marine Sgt. killed in Kabul bombing “a true Massachusetts hero gone too soon”

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker on Saturday called Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo “a true Massachusetts hero gone too soon.”

Rosariopichardo, a graduate of Lawrence High School, died in the attack that killed at least 13 U.S. service members, identified as 11 Marines, a Navy sailor, and an Army soldier, the Pentagon confirmed Saturday.

“God bless those lost in this week’s bombing in Kabul,” Baker said in a tweet. “Sgt. Johanny Rosario of Lawrence is a true Massachusetts hero gone too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. I pray for the safe return of all those serving our country around the world.”

In a Facebook post, Friday night, Lawrence School Committee member Jonathan Guzman said Rosariopichardo was a classmate, friend, and Lawrence High School alumni who was “a wonderful person with a kind heart.”

“It hurts to see a classmate, a friend, LHS alumni, a young lady, a proud Lawrencian, a wonderful person with a kind heart taken from this world by the hands of hatred!” Guzman wrote. “Johanny Rosario, your city will honor you! That is a promise! Thank you for your patriotic service! My heart goes out to your family during this unwelcome event, as well as the other 12 soldiers who died in Afghanistan.”

In a statement Friday night, Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez said the city is in mourning.

“We are heartbroken by the death of the servicemen and women due to the bombing in Kabul this week. I and the City of Lawrence are particularly saddened that one of those brave souls was a daughter of our City,” Vasquez said. “I have been in touch with the family of the Lawrencian killed in action to extend mine and my family’s most sincere condolences and offer all of the aid that my administration can provide as they grieve this great loss. At this time, the family’s most immediate wish is to be given privacy and that their loved one be recognized as the hero that she was.”

The family of Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo was notified Friday evening, Jaime Melendez said. Melendez is the director of veterans services in Lawrence, where Rosariopichardo attended high school.

A memorial was held Saturday afternoon in Boston.

“We will not allow her to be forgotten,” Melendez said.

Rosariopichardo served with the Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Sonia Guzmán, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the Caribbean nation shares in the loss.

“Peace to your soul!” she tweeted in Spanish.

Her family wishes for privacy “and that their loved one be recognized as the hero that she was,” the mayor said.

Melendez said people have strong feelings about the U.S. involvement that’s coming to an end after two decades in Afghanistan.

“There are people on both sides of the fence. I get it,” he said. “This is about one of our own, a daughter of Lawrence. For us, it is definitely about her service and her family’s sacrifice. That’s what will be focusing on.”

Columbia College in Missouri confirmed with Boston 25 that Rosariopichardo was enrolled with the school as an online student. She started her studies with the college in 2019.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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