LOCAL NEWS

Father of Utah Marine reacts to new report about attack that killed his son

Apr 15, 2024, 10:29 PM | Updated: Apr 16, 2024, 8:23 am

SALT LAKE CITY The father of a Utah Marine who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan three years ago is reacting to a new report just released about that deadly day.

U.S. Central Command did an additional review about the events of Aug. 26, 2021, when 13 service members were killed in that attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, including Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, who graduated from Hillcrest High School in Midvale.

Hoover’s death at the airport’s Abbey Gate came as U.S. troops were withdrawing from the country.

The new report found the attack was “not preventable” without hurting the mission to evacuate people from Afghanistan. The report also said leaders on the ground “were present, engaged, and made sound tactical decisions.”

Darin Hoover (KSL TV)

Further, the new review found, there was no opportunity for service members to take out the suicide bomber before the attack happened.

Hoover’s father, Darin Hoover, lives in Sandy and flew to Florida to get briefed on the new report before it became public Monday.

‘High emotions’

“It’s almost like getting the band-aid ripped off again,” Darin Hoover told KSL TV. “There’s a lot of high emotions.”

Darin Hoover said he felt like some of his questions were answered by the new report, while others were not.

“They gave us more detail, let’s put it that way,” he said. “With the more detail, (I) kind of feel better about it, but at the same time, it opens up some other questions that we can start dealing with.”

Ultimately, Darin Hoover believes the attack on his son and the other service members could, in fact, have been stopped.

“It was indeed preventable,” he said, “if the planning had gone into it much more than what they’d done.”

Darin Hoover said he and other families of the fallen service members will continue to push for accountability from U.S. officials as they seek answers to all their questions about that deadly day.

In a news release, U.S. Central Command said the additional review of the Abbey Gate suicide bombing was carried out by both Marine Corps and Army service members who conducted more than 50 interviews in 24 locations, compiling “more than 1,200 additional pages of documents, information, and imagery.”

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Father of Utah Marine reacts to new report about attack that killed his son