Officials have identified the Navy SEAL who was killed when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.
Remington Peters, 27, of Colorado, was a member of an elite Navy parachute team called The Leap Frogs. Authorities are investigating why his parachute failed to open during the demonstration Sunday, causing him to fall from the sky to his death. His parachute landed in a parking lot.
In a statement on Monday, Peters' family called him a "selfless, humble and quiet professional" who was known for "his fierce loyalty to his friends, family and country."
"Although our time with him was cut short, we are so grateful that we were blessed with such a positive and principled loving man," the family said. "No words could do justice, but we are so grateful for all that he taught us, and all the love he gave us in his 27 wonderful years."
Peters was among four Leap Frogs who drifted down from two helicopters high in the sky on Sunday.
The accident occurred a few minutes after noon near Liberty State Park, the large New Jersey park across from Manhattan.
"I'm terribly saddened," said Nancy Malinowski, a Cranford, New Jersey, resident. She witnessed the event and said she knew something had gone wrong when she saw a parachute with nobody attached to it descend behind a building.
"I don't think 90 percent of the people there were aware," Malinowski said, describing a gathering in the park that included food trucks, a Navy band and lots of small children. "Everybody was out there to support the military."
The Navy said Peters was rescued immediately from the water by U.S. Coast Guard personnel who were standing by in vessels to support the aerial demonstration that featured the coordinated parachute jump. Local fire department personnel who were also on standby responded as well. Peters was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center Sunday afternoon.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," said Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
The Leap Frogs were scheduled to do a jump before the Mets game at Citi Field Monday, but it was canceled. In June, they are scheduled to perform at Sail Boston 2017 and at Navy Week in Pittsburgh. Stops later this summer include Minneapolis, Chicago and Salt Lake City.
But on Memorial Day, The Leap Frogs were mourning one of their own.
"He was an angel on earth and role model to all," his family said. "We couldn’t have been more proud of him. He lived life to the fullest and taught us to do the same."