The Navy SEAL and Leap Frogs team member killed by a parachute malfunction Sunday in New Jersey has been identified as 27-year-old Remington Peters.
Peters' family released a statement via the U.S. Navy on Monday.
"His accomplishments far outweigh his years. Anyone that has ever had the pleasure of knowing Remi could attest to his fierce loyalty to his friends, family, and his country. He was an angel on earth and role model to all. We couldn’t have been more proud of him. He lived life to the fullest and taught us to do the same," the statement read.
Peters was making a jump with the Leap Frogs team, based in San Diego, during an aerial demonstration over Liberty State Park on Sunday when his parachute failed to deploy and he landed in the Hudson River.
According to the Navy, Peters landed in the river at approximately 12:10 p.m. EST and was immediately retrieved by rescue crews standing by. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 p.m.
The Navy is still investigating the incident, and said that the accident was caused by an apparent equipment malfunction.
"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 statement continued. "He is painfully missed. 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. Today, we honor our selfless, humble, and quiet professional."
The Navy said that Peters was with the parachute team for more than a year.
He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, and Campaign Medals for his service in Iraq and Afhanistan among other awards.
“They could not be a nicer young couple," neighbor Maureen McGrath said of Peters and his partner.
"Very Unfortunate that the death coincided with memorial day coincided with a celebration of all those not only in the navy but all branches of service who have died in defense of this country," Bill McGrath added.
Theresa Saleeby Awad, who lives in New Jersey, was watching the show with her husband and two young children.
“We were all standing there watching the jumpers,” she said. “Everyone realized what was going on. We immediately turned towards the parachuter. We saw the parachute and something else going into the water and the parachute going off into the building.”
Awad said the parachute looked like the sail of a boat that lost it winds.
“The entire crowd was just stunned. Period,” she continued. “No other word for it. You saw everybody, all of the emergency services react very quickly. Eerily quiet after it happened. Somebody told the DJ to start playing again to divert attention from the crowd. My husband wanted to leave but we stayed for our children. It was sad to see, truly it was. This was a day we wanted to celebrate men and women of the armed forces.”
The aerial demonstration was a coordinated jump featuring the Leap Frogs during a Fleet Week New York event.
"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, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic following the incident on Sunday.
On Tuesday, The Leap Frogs posted a message on Facebook about the death of their teammate:
"The members of the United States Navy Parachute Team "The Leap Frogs" would like to honor our teammate and friend, Petty Officer First Class Remington "Remi" Peters. You will be sorely missed, brother."
The social media post was accompanied by a photo of Peters.