Afghanistan Shooting Suspect Had Brain Injury

Soldier also had marital trouble before deployment
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2012 11:27 PM CDT
Updated Mar 13, 2012 6:06 AM CDT
Men examine blood stains and charred remains inside a home where an American soldierwent on a deadly rampage in Panjwai.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The lone US soldier suspected of fatally shooting 16 Afghan civilians in a berserk weekend rampage suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent tour of war duty, sources tell ABC News. The 38-year-old unidentified Army staff sergeant was treated for traumatic brain injury after some kind of vehicle accident, and was deemed fit for duty, according to an official. But the father of two had serious marital problems at home before he was assigned to Afghanistan, following three tours of duty in Iraq within 10 years. He also had other unspecified problems "reintegrating," said authorities. But officials determined that he had "worked through" the problems before he was deployed to Afghanistan, notes ABC.

The soldier passed the mental health screening required to become a sniper in 2008, and was also cleared in behavioral health screening after that, officials said. The soldier left a military base before dawn and shot dead 16 men, women, and children in the attack as they slept in three houses in two villages, according to reports, wearing night-vision goggles as he did so. He later turned himself in to base authorities. Investigators are attempting to determine what set him off. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |