Dora, Baghdad, Iraq
2004 – 2005
You know how I said the first two months went on without incident?
The third month we get intel, it was bad intel, that an angry mob is trying to take over one of the IP stations. So for three friggin’ days, eating MRE’s and field chow, we posted outside that IP station. Nothing’s going on, we just get to the point where we are so tired from this, we’re only pulling three-hour shifts.
At one point, it was during one of the shift changes, so everyone’s awake. It’s night time. Say about sixty, seventy yards out there was a van with its hazards on.
We should have figured, because it had its hazards on, it wasn’t trying to sneak or anything, but both the Iraqi Police and we were told, “no warning shots.” Because of the language barrier, there would be a huge lack of communication if someone started shooting.
Well, one of the Iraqi police officers was not very disciplined. He saw somebody stop their van, get out, and he told him to get back in the van and leave.
This is what we found out after the fact.
The guy, uh –
The guy, uhhhh, said he couldn’t, his van broke down. Uh, Iraqi police officer took a warning shot. We all get on our weapons. Then we hear another warning shot. The guy next to me yells, “it’s coming from the van.”
Uh, there were, in that sector of fire there were two M-240s mounted on the humvees and there was one M-4 carbine, which was me.
We found one 5.56 round in the body. [The M-4 shoots 5.56 caliber bullets, the M-240 does not.]
The van looked like swiss cheese.
In the stomach.
His intestines were coming out.
My first thought was, “I can’t believe a motherfucker is shooting at me.”
I was pissed. I was angry. I was – you’d think the response would be fear, not anger.
I fired seven rounds and my weapon jammed. They really tore the van up.
When I went down to finally do SPORTS [a method of clearing a jammed rifle] on my weapon the gunner said that he needed more ammo because his chain was running out. So I got a chain, and as soon as I did that we had a cease fire.
Platoon sergeant goes out and finds out what happened.
We all had to come back [to base] and sign some paperwork saying that we thought we were under attack. We had a de-briefing.
And that was that.
We offered the family some condolence money, which they turned down.
[NOTE – The Army’s official incident report is not available here. In many other events involving soldiers shooting civilians the Army incident reports are similarly unavailable.]