Entries in Shooter (4)


Murder Charges Against Alleged Kandahar Shooter Expected Friday

US Army(FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.) -- Murder charges against Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales are expected to be filed Friday for his alleged shooting rampage almost two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of 17 Afghan civilians.

A U.S. official confirms that Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder, and six counts of aggravated assault, in addition to other violations of the U.S. Code of Military Justice.  All of the charges are related to the 17 deaths that allegedly resulted from Bales’ rampage.

The number of Afghans killed in the incident has been reported widely as 16, but criminal charges are expected to include 17 counts of murder.  U.S. officials said the updated number of casualties reflected either the death of one of the civilians initially wounded in the rampage, or new information gathered by Army investigators on the ground in Afghanistan.

Bales is accused of sneaking out of his remote combat outpost in the middle of the night and terrorizing two nearby villages, with Afghan civilians his apparent targets. Nine of the victims killed were children.

Bales, 38, was detained by fellow soldiers after he returned to his outpost.

John Henry Browne, Bales’ civilian attorney, said that during his initial meeting with his client, Bales did not have any recollection of the March 11 rampage.

Bales, who has a home in Washington state where his wife and children live, is now being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and though charges in his case will be announced by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, U.S. officials say his court proceedings will be held in the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alleged Shooter in Afghanistan Massacre Identified

Staff Sgt Robert Bales (L) and another soldier at a training center in Fort Irwin, CA in 2011. United States Army(FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.) --The U.S. soldier accused of going on a rampage and killing 16 Afghan civilians as they slept in their houses has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, ABC News confirmed Friday.

Bales, 38, a husband and father of two, was serving on his fourth combat deployment in 10 years, the first three in Iraq. He was on his first tour in Afghanistan, where he'd been since December.

Bales is being transported to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he is expected to face formal charges on 16 counts of murder possibly as early as Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Shooting Suspect Flown Out of Afghanistan

File photo/ iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers earlier this week was flown out of Afghanistan after 9 p.m. local time Wednesday, according to U.S. and NATO officials.

The Afghan government was informed that the alleged shooter was being moved beforehand. The suspect's destination was not disclosed.

A U.S. military official said that the suspect had been moved because of concerns for his safety inside Afghanistan and because of sensitivity to the host nation. Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said that the suspect has been moved to "an appropriate detention facility outside of Afghanistan," but would not identify the country. "This is primarily because inside Afghanistan we don't have the proper detention facilities to detain U.S. personnel for any length of time," said Kirby. "So this is in accordance with our own regulations and policies to have him in a proper detention facility where he can continue to be interviewed and to be cared for appropriately." The suspect has not yet been charged.

The shooting occurred at 3 a.m. Sunday morning in three houses in two villages in the Panjway district of southern Kandahar province, an area that was once a Taliban safe haven but has recently become more safe after a surge of troops in 2009.

The alleged shooter has been identified as a 38-year-old Army staff sergeant based at Fort Lewis in Washington state. His name has not been released.

He was assigned to Camp Belambay, a remote combat outpost where his job was to be protection for Special Operations Forces who were creating local militias. He was not a member of the special forces unit. He allegedly left the base in the middle of the night and wore night-vision goggles during his rampage, according to a source.

The first village was more than a mile south of the base. While there, he allegedly killed four people in the first house. In the second house, he allegedly killed 11 family members -- four girls, four boys and three adults.

He then walked back to another village past his base where he allegedly killed one more person, according to a member of the Afghan investigation team and ABC News' interviews with villagers.

All of the victims were shot in their homes, according to villagers and the Afghan president's office. Video from the scene show blood-splattered floors and walls inside a villager's home and blood-soaked bodies of victims, including the elderly and young children, wrapped in blankets and placed in the backseat of a van.

Some of the bodies appear to have been burned.

Pentagon spokesman Kirby said officials "don't know what his motivation was. We are looking into that."

The staff sergeant confessed to the crime when he returned to his base that night, saying, "I did it," defense officials told ABC News.

According to the officials, the staff sergeant returned to his base in Kandahar where he was disarmed. Back at the base, said officials, he said, "I did it," and described the massacre. According to defense officials, villagers were already reporting the massacre before the suspect returned to the base.

The soldier has since retained a lawyer and is refusing to speak with investigators about what motivated him to allegedly gun down the civilians. Officials told ABC News the alleged shooter had been having marital problems since returning from deployment in Iraq in 2010 before he was sent to Afghanistan.

ABC News has learned that the soldier suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in 2010 while on deployment in Iraq.

It is unclear if the injury could have played a role in Sunday's massacre. An official told ABC News that the soldier has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past, either from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident. He went through the advanced TBI treatment at Fort Lewis and was deemed to be fine.

He also underwent mental health screening necessary to become a sniper and passed in 2008. He had routine behavioral health screening after that and was cleared, the official said.

When the soldier returned from his last deployment in Iraq he had difficulty reintegrating, including marital problems, the source told ABC News. But officials concluded that he had worked through those issues before deploying to Afghanistan.

Investigators are also looking at the possibility that alcohol may have played a role in the incident, defense officials said, as alcohol was found near where he lived on base in Afghanistan.

On Monday, the suspect appeared before a magistrate, where probable cause for continued pre-trial confinement was established.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Norway Shooter Demands 'Medal of Honor' for Killings

AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- The man accused of killing dozens of people -- many of them teenagers -- in dual terror attacks in Norway gave what was described as a fascist salute in court Monday before saying he deserves a "medal of honor" for the 2011 massacre.

Anders Breivik, a 32-year-old right-wing extremist who has repeatedly confessed to the July 22 bombing in Oslo followed by a shooting spree at a nearby youth summer camp that killed 77 people, reportedly smirked as he appeared in a Norwegian court Monday for a scheduled detention hearing. Approximately 100 survivors and family members of victims of the attacks were in the court audience.

During the hearing, Breivik told the judge he should be released from custody and said he deserved the military medal for his work against his country's "traitors" in the fight against the "Islamic colonization of Norway." Breivik claimed that the terror attacks were "preventative" moves and said he acted in cultural self-defense.

"Ethnic Norwegians will become the minority in 10 years in Oslo," Breivik reportedly said.

Despite his confessions, Breivik has said he is not guilty of any crime. Breivik's attorney, Geir Lippestad, said such statements could foreshadow what's to come when Breivik goes on trial for terrorism charges in April.

In a 1,500-page online manifesto posted just before he launched his attacks, Breivik apparently wrote that he was just one operative in the beginning of a violent Christian conservative revolution in Europe led by a group called the new Knights Templar. Breivik had planned on a 60-plus-year struggle against mutliculturalism until the Knights would take control over Europe, the manifesto said.

The meticulous manifesto detailed Breivik's years-long preparations for the attack and presents an academic-style argument against what he called multicultural Marxism and Islamic colonization. In it, he says being arrested is all part of the plan.

"Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase," Breivik writes. "Your trial offers you a stage to the world."

Breivik was declared mentally insane by court-appointed doctors in November. A second evaluation was ordered, but Breivik reportedly refused to cooperate with the psychiatrists.

Previously, Breivik had demanded to be examined by Japanese specialists because they "understand the idea of values of honor." He has also demanded from jail the complete overthrow of the Norwegian government and a key role in the reconstruction of society.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio