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Relatives, Friends Mourn Slain Soldier With AM-Honduras-US Soldier

June 15, 1987

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) _ Staff Sgt. Randall J. Harris, who was shot to death last weekend on a military base in Honduras, was remembered Monday as a man who hoped eventually to move his family to a Colorado ranch.

″Randy really shouldn’t have been in Honduras,″ said his mother, Delpherine Harris. ″To the best of my knowledge, when he came back from Korea, his company wanted him back in El Paso. They were going over to Honduras for four months of training, and he didn’t have much choice.″

Harris, 34, a football team captain and 1971 graduate of Wilmington High School, lived in El Paso, Texas, with his wife, Cheryl, and three stepchildren.

On Sunday morning, Mrs. Harris and her husband, Willard, were told by their daughter-in-law that Harris, a military policeman, was shot to death Saturday while supervising military base patrols at Palmerola Air Base.

He had been scheduled to return to Texas within two weeks.

Official reports said Harris was shot three times and was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Palmerola Army Hospital. The Pentagon said his death is being investigated as a crime, not a terrorist act.

″Cheryl said it would be a week to 10 days before they even get him home,″ Mrs. Harris said. The family is to decide whether Harris will be buried in Texas or Wilmington.

In February, before leaving for duty in Honduras, Harris told his parents he one day would move his family to the Colorado mountains and raise sheep and cattle. ″Nothing would have made him happier,″ his mother said.

Harris, following two years as a student at Morehead State University in Kentucky, left college with his roommate to train horses at a Massachusetts farm.

He spent the past nine years in the service, including four years in Germany and a recent one-year tour of duty in South Korea. Mrs. Harris said her son had re-enlisted for another three years.

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