Schofield soldier disputes claim he shot Iraqi
Two Schofield Barracks soldiers charged with murdering an Iraqi civilian during a night raid in June are claiming that the victim was a member of an insurgent cell suspected of trying to plant a roadside bomb near Kirkuk.
And one of the soldiers, Spc. Christopher Shore, insists he purposely shot away from the civilian rather than obey orders to "finish him off."
Michael Waddington, Shore's civilian attorney, says three of the Iraqi men who were arrested in the raid are on trial in Iraq because an assault rifle and other weapons were confiscated.
Shore is one of four soldiers who reported the shooting and turned in the Schofield Barracks soldier who ordered the killing, says Waddington.
The Army maintains that Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales, 34, ordered Shore, 24, to shoot the Iraqi man. Both soldiers, the Army claims, shot the Iraqi man several times with their M-4 carbines.
But Waddington maintains that Shore just fired his weapon twice, but never at the Iraqi man, according to a report in the Athens, Ga., Banner-Herald.
"Shore is one of four guys who turned in Corrales, and that's why he's so shocked that he got charged. And based on the evidence I've seen, my client didn't shoot the guy," Waddington told the Georgia paper last weekend.
He said he's filed a motion to try Shore separately from Corrales.
Waddington said: "Shore is the only one who implicates himself, the only guy who said, 'I popped off two rounds but I didn't hit the guy.' And our position is, Shore didn't shoot anybody and there is no evidence that he shot this guy."
On his Web site, Corrales acknowledges he led the June 23 raid of 25th Infantry Division scouts.
"By the end of the raid, one insurgent was mortally wounded and several others were captured," according to Corrales' account.
Waddington said Corrales' platoon was flown by Black Hawk helicopter to the village and Shore was a point man when the Schofield Barracks unit stormed the house where the insurgents had taken refuge.
Earlier, other soldiers in a helicopter had spotted insurgents planting a roadside bomb along a supply route outside of Kirkuk, where U.S. convoys regularly were ambushed, and followed them, Waddington said.
The soldiers fired a small rocket into the house where a group of men and women were holed up.
Inside, while the soldiers were checking the hands of the detainees in the house for traces of explosives, one man bolted from the house.
Waddington said that Shore, after hearing the shots, went out of the house and saw that Corrales had wounded the suspect.
Corrales ordered Shore to "finish him off," but, instead, Shore fired his rifle twice and purposely missed, according to Waddington. The Iraqi man died a couple of days later.
Waddington said the Army alleges that when Corrales ordered Shore to shoot the wounded detainee, Shore stood over the body and shot him at close range, but the autopsy report concludes the Iraqi was shot five times from a distance.
Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, Army spokesman, said last night in an e-mail from Iraq there is still no date for an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian criminal cases.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, who commands the 25th Infantry Division, will determine whether Corrales and Shore will face a court-martial based upon the findings of the Article 32 hearing. If a court-martial is held, it will probably be at Schofield Barracks.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
» A picture of Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales appeared on Page A5 yesterday in an article about two soldiers accused of murdering an Iraqi civilian. The caption incorrectly identified the photo as being of the other soldier, Spc. Christopher Shore.