Photo: Spc. Ryan Hallock, 28th Public Affairs/U.S. Army
The US Army soldier suspected in Sunday’s massacre in Afghanistan has been identified as 38-year-old Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, according to media reports.Citing defence Department sources, CNN’s John King USA went to air last night identifying Bales as the alleged shooter.
Fox News has likewise reported that unidentified US military sources identified Bales as the alleged shooter.
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Bales is currently being flown to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas pending a psychiatric evaluation.
A photograph at this cached page in the High Desert Warrior appears to show Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 1st platoon, Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (The page was first uncovered by the conservative blog Pundit Press.)
Bales’s unit is based in south Tacoma in Washington State. He has not yet been charged with a crime.
Reuters reports that defence lawyer John Henry Browne said his client’s defence would likely involve arguments that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was a mitigating factor.
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“It is commonly used in military defence,” Browne was quoted as saying. Browne also said the suspect was unhappy about returning to active duty for a fourth tour after twice being wounded in Iraq. Browne said that the day before the killings, the suspect had witnessed a fellow soldier’s injury in Kandahar.
“One leg was blown off,” Browne was quoted as saying.
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