19-year-old Owatonna native dies during Minnesota National Guard basic training

Connor McGurran
Connor McGurran was born May 3, 2000, in Owatonna, Minnesota, and enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in September of 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota National Guard)

ST PAUL -- A Minnesota National Guardsman has died following a training exercise in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

According to a Thursday, Jan. 9 news release from the Minnesota National Guard, Connor McGurran, 19, was found unresponsive after a training exercise Wednesday morning. He was transported by by Emergency Medical Services to Providence Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

McGurran, of Owatonna, enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in September after obtaining his GED. He reported to Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson in October, and was training to become a Bradly fighting vehicle system maintainer.

Minnesota National Guard Recruiting and Retention Commander Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez said in Thursday's release that McGurran "was a soldier with a promising future."

"We will provide every comfort to his family and the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, who are devastated by his untimely death," Suarez said. "This is a tragic loss for the Minnesota National Guard."

Minnesota state Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, said in a Thursday afternoon statement that he is "filled with sorrow" at the news of McGurran's death.

"It is always a horrible feeling losing a brother or sister of the armed forces," Jasinski said. "As we wait for more information about what happened, I hope Pvt. McGurran’s family knows that all of Minnesota is grieving with them.”

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