LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A U.S. congressman has filed legislation that could make two soldiers shot outside a military recruiting station in Arkansas eligible for the Purple Heart.

A bill filed Thursday by Republican Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas says Pvt. William Andrew Long and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula (ee-ZEEG'-wuh-luh) should be treated as if they were in a combat zone. That would make them eligible for the military award.

Long died in the 2009 shooting. Ezeagwula still has shrapnel in his body.

The man who confessed to shooting them, Abdulhakim Muhammad, deemed himself a jihadist and professed ties to al-Qaida. He pleaded guilty this week during his trial and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.