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Niger Attack: Final Farewell Saturday for Sgt. Johnson

The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, killed in an ambush in Niger, is wheeled out after a viewing Oct. 20 at Christ The Rock Church in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)
The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, killed in an ambush in Niger, is wheeled out after a viewing Oct. 20 at Christ The Rock Church in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday morning at Christ the Rock Church in Cooper City, Fla., for U.S. Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson, one of four Green Berets killed in Niger on Oct. 4.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at the church for a public viewing, the Miami Herald reported.

According to the newspaper, the evening was focused solely on Johnson, a 25-year-old father of two children, with a third on the way, who was remembered as "a G.I. Joe," "a leader," and "a lovable, humble, peaceful person."

There was no mention, the Herald reported, of this week's verbal feud between U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and President Donald Trump, which was sparked when Wilson commented on remarks that Trump reportedly made during a condolence phone call to Johnson's widow, Myeshia Johnson.

The Herald reported Friday that after Johnson's death, Wilson established a college scholarship fund for his children -- Ah'leeysa, 6; La David Jr., 2; and a daughter expected in January. The GoFundMe account had raised more than $627,000 in donations as of early Saturday.

Three other soldiers were killed in the Niger attack:

-- Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, whose funeral was held Sunday in his hometown, Lyons, Ga.

-- Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash., whose funeral was held Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. Black will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Oct. 30, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., reported.

-- Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio, whose funeral was held Thursday in Fayetteville, N.C.

A memorial service for all four soldiers is scheduled for Nov. 7 at Fort Bragg, N.C., the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun reported.

The four Green Berets were among a group of U.S. and Nigerien troops ambushed by about 50 Islamic extremists. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack, and nearly 10 Nigerien troops were also killed.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that his department is investigating the circumstances that led to the attack.

U.S. and French troops have been providing training and support to the militaries of Niger and other vulnerable African countries where Islamic extremism has grown.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.