The Pentagon announced, but the media were slow to cover (beyond the fact of the deaths) a shocking incident in Iraq. Two U.S. soldiers -- a staff sergeant and a sergeant -- were killed Sunday morning in a "non-hostile incident."
What was it? The military explained at first, "A U.S. Soldier is in custody in connection with the shooting deaths. He is being held in custody pending review by a military magistrate." And that's all we knew, beyond the fact that the unnamed soldier "opened fire" on his superiors.
The two victims are: Staff Sgt. Darris J. Dawson, 24, of Pensacola, Fla., and Sgt. Wesley R. Durbin, 26, of Hurst, Texas. They were "victims of an early morning shooting incident at their patrol base near Iskandariyah, Iraq."
Sergeants Dawson and Durbin were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
AP has now updated with more details on the incident and the shooter:
According to AP, "A defense official in Washington, D.C., said the alleged shooter is a sergeant who was in a meeting to discuss his leadership performance with Dawson, who was his squad leader, and Durbin, who was a fellow team leader in the squad."
Local papers have provided details on the dead men such as this sad note on Dawson: He had four children, all under the age of five.
The Pensacola News-Journal quotes his father, Army vet Darryl Mathis: "He liked the Army and would have loved it, except that he didn't like going back and forth to Iraq. He saw all the action -- he was an infantry fighter. Goodness, he saw a lot of action.''
The paper continues: His father and stepmother said they don't know the details of Staff Sgt. Dawson's death. 'That's what we're trying to find out, but we're running into walls,' Darryl Mathis said. 'They're keeping things hush-hush. I can't find out anything.'''