ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Army Specialist Brittany Gordon is the latest casualty in the war in Afghanistan, and the first female soldier from Tampa Bay killed in action.
SPC Gordon was a 2006 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, and the 24-year-old daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon.
The Department of Defense has not yet released information on how Gordon was killed, but friends and neighbors were shocked to learn of her death on Sunday.
"The whole street is hurting. We're all sad, because she was just a wonderful person," said neighbor Donna McGhee, who said officers arrived to notify the family Saturday.
SPC Gordon's mother and father are being escorted to Dover Air Force Base to be reunited with their daughter's remains.
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said he was made aware of the death and would be sending the city's condolences to the Gordon family once additional information was confirmed.
Cedric Gordon worked his way up the ranks of the St. Petersburg Police Department from cadet all the way to assistant chief, and was known for helping black officers attain equal treatment. The family is well known throughout St. Petersburg as wonderful people.
"Cedric Gordon is a very proud father. He wants the best for his kids," said neighbor John McGhee. "It was tough for me to go over there this morning. I just don't believe it. I had to share tears with him."
Friends say Brittany played in the band at St. Pete High, and was a talented musician and basketball player. She attended the University of Florida before enlisting in the army.
Neighbors say Brittany's sister serves in the Air Force, and is based in Florida's panhandle.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.