29-year-old B.C. man identified as soldier fatally shot during CFB Wainwright training exercise

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The solider who died after being shot during a live-fire training exercise at CFB Wainwright in Alberta on Friday has been identified as 29-year-old Cpl. James Choi.

Choi was a member of the Royal Westminster Regiment, based in New Westminster, B.C., the Department of National Defence said in a statement on Sunday

He was shot during a live-fire training exercise at the base in Wainwright, Alta., at about 10 p.m. on Friday. Wainwright is about 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

He was first taken to hospital in Wainwright before being transported to a hospital in Edmonton, where he died early Saturday.

Choi family
Choi family

The department said Choi had joined the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry for the training exercise, which focused on core light infantry skills.

The exercise was suspended and an investigation is underway. A spokesperson confirmed that military police are in charge of the investigation and said that about 700 people are based at CFB Wainwright.

"My heartfelt condolences are with his family, his friends and his fellow soldiers in the Royal Westminster Regiment and 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry," Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said in a statement Sunday. "The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will be there for his family during these difficult times as we grieve alongside you."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed the minister, stating on Twitter that Choi's sacrifice and service would not be forgotten.

Condolences were also expressed by Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, and Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, commander of the Canadian Army.

"The loss of Cpl. James Choi, a dedicated, hard-working and highly respected soldier, is devastating. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow soldiers at this most difficult time," Eyre said in a statement.

"He represented Canada with honour, dedicating himself to his profession. We grieve alongside his family, friends and comrades."