Charles C. Clements Jr., Army specialist

April 05, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Charles Corrothers "C.C." Clements Jr., an Army specialist who had completed tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed March 29 when a gunman opened fire in a North Carolina restaurant and lounge. The Randallstown resident was 27.

"Charles was home on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan and was about to go back," said his stepfather, Timothy Hutchen of Owings Mills. "It was his second tour of duty in Afghanistan."

Mr. Clements was sitting with another soldier and close friend, Arthur Mwebe, from nearby Fort Bragg when an unidentified gunman began shooting in the Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge in Spring Lake, N.C.

Mr. Clements was killed instantly. Mr. Mwebe was wounded in the thigh and is recovering at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in North Carolina.

The case remains under investigation by homicide detectives of the Cumberland County, N.C., sheriff's department and by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Debbie Tanna, public information officer for the county sheriff's department, said Friday.

Mr. Clements was born in Baltimore and raised in Northwood and Randallstown. He was a 2000 graduate of Randallstown High School where, as a varsity linebacker, he helped lead the football team to an undefeated season his senior year.

He joined the Army in 2001, where he attained the rank of specialist and was assigned as a cannon crew member to the 321st Field Artillery Battery at Fort Bragg.

Mr. Clements later was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas, where he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Division of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.

Mr. Clements had been deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. His decorations included the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

"During his military career, he made many friends who will miss him very much," his stepfather said.

"Originally, he joined the Army to get away from home like a lot of young people do, and then he discovered that he really enjoyed being a soldier and he liked the travel," Mr. Hutchen said.

Mr. Clements was an avid football fan.

He had been a lifelong active member of Evangelical Baptist Church, 4430 Reisterstown Road, where services will be held at 9 a.m. Monday.

Also surviving are his father, Charles C. Clements Sr. of Norfolk, Va.; his mother, Gay Hutchen of Owings Mills; two sons, Karon Clements of Baltimore and Isaiah Clements of Norfolk; a daughter, Destiny Clements of Austin, Texas; two stepbrothers, Timothy Hutchen of Owings Mills and Michael Clements of Norfolk; two stepsisters, Briana Hutchen of Owings Mills and Jenelle Clements of Baltimore; and many uncles, aunts and cousins.

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