NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Flags on New York state government buildings will be flown at half-staff Wednesday in memory of a soldier from Brooklyn who died in Iraq.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the lowered flags will honor the bravery and service of 30-year-old Army Sgt. Roshain Brooks, who was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to Sgt. Brooks’ family, friends and fellow soldiers,” Cuomo said. “His tragic loss is one deeply felt by the entire New York family and today we honor his bravery and his service to this nation and this great state.”

The Pentagon said Brooks and another soldier were casualties of a “mishap” on Sunday as a U.S. artillery unit was firing on an Islamic State mortar position.

Brooks came to America from Jamaica with his family when he was a teenager and joined the Army in 2012.

“He was the coolest guy anybody could ever meet. He was calm-spirited, he was never in any trouble, very respectful,” his cousin, Joy Houston, told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “He really loved his country, and he wanted to serve.”

Brooks served in Iraq for nearly four years.

His parents and sister are asking for privacy as they plan his funeral.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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