The Army is investigating possible war crimes after a Fort Carson soldier facing first-degree murder charges in the slayings of two Iraq war veterans told investigators he and another soldier randomly fired at Iraqi civilians.
Pfc. Bruce Bastien Jr. and two former soldiers face charges in the December shooting death of Spc. Kevin Shields, while Bastien and one of those former soldiers face charges in the Aug. 4 shooting death of Pfc. Robert James.
Bastien said he and another soldier used stolen AK-47 military rifles to shoot at civilians while their unit patrolled Baghdad neighborhoods while they were in Iraq.
“The sound of an AK-47 is very distinctive,” the motion quotes Bastien as telling Fort Carson Special Agent Kelly Jameson on Dec. 10. “So if there were any questions when the shooting was heard, Bastien said they could claim they were taking on hostile fire.”
In court documents, Bastien is quoted as saying that he drove while Eastridge would shoot at Iraqi civilians who happened to be along the street.
“Bastien said that he knows that an Iraqi civilian was struck on at least one occasion,” according to the motion.