SEAL Allegedly Shot Non-Combatants, Held Reenlistment Ceremony with Corpse

Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher (Image: LinkedIn)
Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher (Image: LinkedIn)

A Navy SEAL who allegedly stabbed a wounded ISIS fighter to death last year is also accused of shooting two noncombatants, one of them a woman; posing for photos with and holding a reenlistment ceremony next to a human corpse; and using and possessing controlled substances, according to his charge sheet.

The charge sheet, obtained and first reported by Task and Purpose, alleges that Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher also fired his weapon at noncombatants at various occasions during a 2017 deployment in the region of Mosul, Iraq with Naval Special Warfare Group One. During that deployment and in the year following, he is accused of attempting to impede the probe into his alleged wrongdoing by discouraging members of his unit from talking to investigators.

Navy Times first reported in September that a SEAL had been confined to Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, California, amid allegations he executed a detainee in Iraq. The outlet reported this week that nearly a dozen current and former SEALs were on standby to testify in Gallagher's Article 32 investigative hearing, which began Wednesday morning in San Diego. A second SEAL, Lt. Jacob Portier has also been arrested in connection with the alleged crime, Task and Purpose reported in October.

According to the newly unearthed charge sheet, dated Oct. 2, Gallagher faces charges of premeditated murder for allegedly stabbing the wounded ISIS fighter "in the neck and body with a knife" on May 3, 2017. He's charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon for shooting two noncombatants, one male, one female, with his firearm on separate occasions in June and July of that year.

In three charges of novel specification, Gallagher is accused of posing for a picture with a human corpse, completing his reenlistment ceremony next to the corpse and operating a drone over it, according to the charge sheet.

These alleged crimes are charged the same day he is accused of killing the detainee; Task and Purpose reported that evidence introduced by the prosecution includes photos appearing to show Gallagher posing with the murdered man and the knife he allegedly used to kill him.

Gallagher also allegedly used Tramadol Hydrochloride, a prescription-only pain reliever, and possessed Sustanon-250, an injectable testosterone, according to the charge sheet.

The hearing that began today will determine whether Gallagher will face court-martial on the charges.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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