The name of the soldier responsible for the massacre in the middle of the night in Afghanistan has still not been released but we are learning more about who he is. The suspect entered sleeping villages and murdered 16 civilians whose safety was supposed to be protected by his mission. The suspect is 38, is married, and has two young children. He is missing a part of one of his feet after he suffered injuries during one of his three tours of duty in Iraq.
The lawyer for the suspect said that when his client was told he was being deployed to Afghanistan last year, he said he did not want to go there. The lawyers also said that the night before the suspect committed the massacre; he witnessed one of his comrade’s legs being blown off the body. The attorney, John Henry Browne, is the person disclosing the majority of the known information about the suspect.
On Friday, the suspect was being transported to the military prison, which is maximum security, at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. The military has yet to release the name of the soldier because he has yet to be charged for a crime. The soldier was moved to Kuwait from Afghanistan on Wednesday because officials claim that there was no proper detention center to hold the soldier in Afghanistan. Browne said that the soldier lives near Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside of Tacoma, Washington. The soldier’s children are ages three and four.
According to Browne, the family of the soldier did not notice any signs of anger or aggression.
“They were totally shocked,” Browne said. “He’s never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He’s in general very mild-mannered.”
Browne also denied rumors that the soldier and his wife were having marriage problems at the time of the massacre and that the two have a good relationship. Browne has met with the family and has spoken with the soldier.
“Everybody is worried about the safety of his family, and I am honoring that,” he said.
Military officials say that the family has been moved onto the base in an effort to protect their safety. The soldier is a member of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, of the 2nd Infantry Division.
“He wasn’t thrilled about going on another deployment,” Browne said. “He was told he wasn’t going back, and then he was told he was going.”
According to military officials, the soldier walked away from the base around 3 a.m. the day of the massacre. The soldier was wearing a NATO forces uniform when he walked around the villages of Alkozai and Balandi.
The soldier has not been cooperating with military officials and has instead asked for an attorney.