Afghan Killing Spree Trial: ‘It’s Really Bad,’ Bales Allegedly Said
A U.S. Army sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in a middle-of-the-night rampage returned halfway through the killing spree and told a friend: “Hey Mac, I just shot some people in Alkozai,” an Army prosecutor said Monday at the opening of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ preliminary hearing on murder charges.
When that fellow sergeant appeared not to believe him, telling him to “quit messing around” because he needed to go back to sleep, Bales said: “Cool, I’m going to Najiban, I’ll be back at 5.” At that point, the 39-year-old sergeant left the base again and allegedly shot 11 people in that second village, south of the Army outpost near Kandahar.
A general alarm was raised after an Afghan guard spotted Bales leaving the base the second time. By the time Bales returned — covered in blood and wearing an Afghan shawl around his shoulders — he seemed surprised to be greeted with leveled guns and demands that he drop his own weapon, prosecutor Lt. Col. Joseph Morse told a hearing officer at the Article 32 proceeding.
“Are you [expletive] kidding me? … Mac, did you rat me out?” Bales allegedly said as he was ordered to drop his weapons, which included an M-4 rifle, a pistol and a grenade launcher.