LOS ALTOS HILLS (CBS SF / AP) — Military officials say two Marines from Northern California have been killed in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense said Capt. Matthew Manoukian and Staff Sgt. Sky Mote died Friday in the country’s Helmand province.
The 29-year-old Manoukian was from Los Altos Hills and the 27-year-old Mote was from El Dorado.
Military officials say the Marines were killed while conducting combat operations, but provided no other details except to say their deaths were under investigation.
Manoukian and Mote were assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
According to the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Manoukian died around 2 a.m. local time in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
Manoukian was serving in the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was likely conducting a meeting with village leaders at the time of his death, a Marines spokesman said.
Among his commendations for past exemplary service, Manoukian had received two Purple Hearts, according to the Marine Corps.
Manoukian was the son of a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.
“On behalf of the entire Court family, I wish to express our profound sorrow,” Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Richard J. Loftus said.
“Matt was killed in action serving his country and the death of this amazing man is a tremendous loss to our community and nation,” Loftus said.
Manoukian had previously served as a platoon commander for the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton and had also served in Iraq, according to the Marine Corps.
He was both an airborne parachutist and a 1st degree Black Belt.
Manoukian is survived by his father, Santa Clara County Judge Socrates “Pete” Manoukian, state appeals court Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, and his two brothers, Michael and Martin.
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