WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army plans to review records of a 2009 shooting at a Little Rock recruiting center to see if two soldiers shot there may qualify for a Purple Heart, according to U.S. Army Secretary John M. McHugh.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army plans to review records of a 2009 shooting at a Little Rock recruiting center to see if two soldiers shot there may qualify for a Purple Heart, according to U.S. Army Secretary John M. McHugh.


The review would come after the Pentagon completes a new policy guidance needed to implement changes in the Purple Heart criteria mandated by Congress in its latest National Defense Authorization Act.


McHugh sent a letter to Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., last week explaining that once the guidance is in place the Army would review the Little Rock records to identify soldiers that may qualify for the Purple Heart based on the new criteria.


Boozman, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, had written McHugh in December asking for the medals to be awarded to the family of William Andrew Long, who was killed, and to Quinton Ezeagwula, who was wounded in the Little Rock attack.


Members of the Arkansas delegation have sponsored legislation for the past four years to expand the criteria to include service members injured or killed in a domestic terrorist attack, such as the shootings in Little Rock and at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.


"The War on Terror knows no borders. The Fort Hood and Little Rock recruiting center attacks show that our troops are at risk even here at home. I’m pleased the Army is evaluating this provision and I’m ready to assist in any way we can in hope this review finally leads to a Purple Heart for Private Long and Private Ezeagwula," Boozman said Monday.


The Army has declined to award Purple Hearts to Long and Ezeagwula because the incident did not occur in combat. Language to allow for the awarding of Purple Hearts to service members wounded or killed in an attack motivated by a foreign terrorist organization was included in a national defense authorization bill that was signed into law last month.


Long’s killer, Abdulhakim Muhammad, is serving a life sentence without the possibility for parole at the Varner Supermax prison in Gould after pleading guilty to shooting Long and Ezeagwula outside a west Little Rock military recruiting center on June 1, 2009.


Muhammad, a convert to Islam and Memphis, Tenn., native also named Carlos Bledsoe, was convicted under state laws on July 25, 2011 on several charges including capital murder.