Army captain sentenced to prison after soldier killed in shooting range incident
An army officer has been sentenced to prison for failing to follow safety procedures at a firing range where a young soldier died at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Captain Christopher Peeples was found guilty of dereliction of duty and sentenced to four months in jail on April 13, according to Army records, after a court martial determined his conduct was ‘likely to cause death. or grievous bodily harm” to an Army Soldier who died on August 1, 2018. Peeples was in charge of firearms training at the time and did not follow safety precautions and ensured that medical care was available at the shooting range, the court heard.
The military redacted the name of the soldier who died on the firing range and did not specify the cause of death in court documents. However, the 101st Airborne Division Pvt. Jeremy J. Wells died Aug. 1, 2018, during a training incident at a small arms range at Fort Campbell, according to the Mail from Fort Campbell. Wells was treated at the scene and then rushed to hospital, where he later died of his injuries. He was 19 years old.
Peeples was assigned to Company B, 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, at the time of the incident.
The officer in charge of a firing range is generally responsible for maintaining safety standards, including ensuring that soldiers do not engage in automatic fire, crossfire, or firing from the hip and that the soldiers keep their weapons pointed downwards. army rules also require a medic to be on site during range operations. The officer in charge is responsible for ensuring that doctors have a map of the nearest medical facility and know how to get there.
The court found that Peeples failed to perform several of his duties on the day of the incident, including ensuring there were enough security guards on the range. Army rules require at least one NCO to supervise every four shooters.
Peeples also failed to ensure weapons were inspected to ensure barrels and chambers were clear and weapons were still pointed in a safe direction, court documents show.
The court martial also found that Peeples failed to rehearse medical evacuation procedures and “negligently failed to ensure the overall safety of the training and the proper use of the training complex at the facility”.
A lawyer for Peeples did not immediately comment on the matter when contacted by Coffee or Die Magazine.
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