Knoxville soldier dies while stationed in Colorado

Knoxville soldier dies while stationed in Colorado

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John Hargreaves (Source: Facebook) John Hargreaves (Source: Facebook)
John Hargreaves (Source: Family) John Hargreaves (Source: Family)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Family and friends are coping with the loss of a Knoxville soldier who died over the weekend.

John Hargreaves, 21, died Saturday night, just before midnight. Family members said his gun accidentally discharged, grazing his head and causing him to bleed to death.

Friends and family said the incident was a freak accident and are trying to cope with the sudden loss.

"If you didn't know John Hargreaves you are missing out, he was a great man. Always funny, he would do anything for you," said Matt Vineyard, Hargreaves' best friend.

Hargreaves and Vineyard have been best friends since middle school.

"I have no doubt in my heart that if someone was to put a gun to me, [John] would take the bullet for me and at the same time, I would trade places with him right now," Vineyard said.

Those that knew him best say the 2010 Karns High School graduate was loved by everyone.

"He was a really positive person, he always had a smile on his face," said Derek Witt, Hargreaves' high school football coach.

Hargreaves played football for four years and Coach Witt said he remembers him as a born leader.

"You never had to wonder if he was going to give 100 percent," said Witt. "He was a go-getter."

Hargreaves had just returned from Afghanistan in June. No one was surprised when Hargreaves decided he wanted to serve his country.

"We enlisted together. No doubt that he wanted to fight so we could live here and be happy," said Vineyard.

He said Hargreaves' biggest passion was fighting for his country. The soldier was stationed as an infantryman with the Army at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs at the time of his death.

Vineyard said his friend had already signed up for another tour.

"He's a superhero," he said. "He fought overseas. You can asked anyone that served with him, they will stand beside him every day. I will stand beside him everyday."

Vineyard said he will accompany the Hargreaves family to Colorado.

A funeral is planned for later in the week.

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