WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — A U.S. official says the American suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers Sunday is a soldier from Washington who was assigned to a remote special operations site.

U.S. officials say the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families in two villages.

The official says he is a conventional soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He was assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs engaged in a village stability operation.

Such operations are among NATO’s best hopes for transitioning out of Afghanistan. They pair special operations troops with local villagers chosen by village elders to become essentially a sanctioned, armed neighborhood watch.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry released a statement about the shooting.

“From what I’ve picked up, it’s tragic, and the Pentagon is moving quickly and appropriately to find out what happened, ensure accountability, and manage the risk it creates for our troops.” – John Kerry

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. don says:

    blow me kerry its a act of war

    1. jaygee says:

      If 16 Americans got shot by an Afghan, it would be terrorism, right. We went over there to get Bin Laden and we got him so why are we staying? The Taliban were once our great friends. We gave them hundreds of millions of dollars and all the weapons they wanted. They, along with Bin Laden used it to oust the Soviets. We went in and now they are using those (our) weapons against us and have been doing so for 9 years. Since we defeated Germany & Japan in 3/ a half years, how long do you think we should stay? Also, if you like it that much, go back in, if in fact, you were in before.

  2. blackbear1 says:

    I would rather have this type of information reported to me by someone other than john kerry.

    1. petem says:

      You could move another state couldn’t bb1? Of course that would limit your ability to complain constantly…

  3. Matt says:

    I would gladly hear about a soldier killing 16 Afgans than 16 soldiers killed by some Afgan because somone burned their comic books I mean Koran.

  4. Thank You Soldiers says:

    Well it is unfortunate that this happened but I am relieved that he didn’t attack his own.

    1. petem says:

      He might as well have. This is a prime example of WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE THERE! They don’t want us, they fight us for being there, therefore we should leave, TODAY!

  5. Willow says:

    I think it’s tragic all the way around. There are no winners in war.

  6. LMH70 says:

    Time has passed to get out of Afghanistan. Those people will be killing each other until the end of time. This was definitely a tragedy-civilians/women/children murdered; but I wonder if after multiple tours of duty over there and in Iraq, this man finally just went off the deep end. No one should rush to judgment until all of the facts are known. It is true, however, that there is a double standard – American soldiers are executed – no apologies from the country’s leaders. Funny, tho, they hate our servicemen and women; harass them; protest; etc……but they still take our millions of dollars in foreign aid!

  7. Rob Cleary says:

    The only thing tragic is Kerry himself wasn’t there.

    1. jaygee says:

      I’m not defending Kerry but at least he served his country in uniform. I know far too many people who love to wave the flag yet have never put on a uniform. I’ve also know more than a few who claim to be “Vietnam Vets” when, in fact, they never left the States. Bottom line, we should declare victory and get out ASAP.

      1. tsalnew says:

        nicely said jaygee

  8. firemanmark says:

    Obama should have the Department of Labor declare it “workplace voilence”.It was workplace violence at Ft.Hood when a homicidal Muslim killed unarmed soldiers and a female deputy was shot.Luckily she survived.I guess it’s all a matter of whether the shooter is a Jihadist Muslim or a Christian.Could have been worse…he could have insulted their “peaceful” religion! They cut people’s heads off while they are still alive. God Bless America and may all the Jihadists go to Hell!!

    1. tsalnew says:

      If I am not mistaken (and it’s been a while so I could be) but I believe the man at Hood was a Virginia native – an American.

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