Authorities unsure how slain soldier smuggled gun
Stars and Stripes March 18, 2008
The Schweinfurt-based soldier killed last week in a standoff with German police was not participating in an exercise that could have explained how he managed to get an M-4 carbine off-post, one of several issues Army officials are investigating, an Army spokesman said Monday.
Meanwhile, German police said late Monday that Pvt. Jeremiah W. Carmack, 30, broke into his former girlfriend’s home on Thursday night and, finding no one there, waited for her to return.
That detail and others were part of a statement Anne Frank gave to police a day after Carmack was shot and killed by a German SWAT team that responded to the alleged hostage incident. Frank told authorities that Carmack bound her wrists but that she managed to calm him down and, in time, convinced him to loosen the tie.
At some point, her mother entered the home and the two women managed to escape as police were arriving on the scene.
A couple of hours later, German police shot Carmack in a nearby field after he apparently raised his weapon at the officers.
“We believe Carmack acted alone,” Spiegel said.
Initial speculation inferred that a training exercise might have afforded Carmack the means to smuggle an M-4 carbine off-post. However, Carmack “was not participating in the EIB training event,” Lt. Col. Richard Spiegel, a spokesman for U.S. Army Europe, said Monday.
Some members of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division have been training for the Expert Infantryman Badge. A German police official said Friday that Carmack “had the gun during the day legally.”
Whether Carmack, a logistics specialist, had help getting the weapon off-post is another matter, Spiegel said.
“That’s the kind of thing that would be within the scope of the investigation,” he explained.
Carmack died about 4:50 a.m. Friday from gunshot wounds he suffered after the alleged break-in in the small village of Altershausen. Frank, 23, told police that Carmack bound her wrists and threatened her with the M-4. At some point during the incident, her mother entered the home and the two of them somehow managed to slip away from Carmack and contact the police.
A German SWAT team from Nuremburg responded to the incident and confronted Carmack in a field several hundred yards from Frank’s home. Carmack, of Union, Ohio, was shot in the chest when he leveled his gun at one of the German police officers. Karl-Heinz Schmitt, a police spokesman from Nuremburg, said Friday that a preliminary review of the incident indicates Carmack was shot at least twice.
An autopsy on Carmack was being performed Monday by German authorities in Würzburg, Schmitt said. Typically, the final results of such an exam takes days, if not weeks, though initial conclusions can be drawn.
The investigation the Army has launched is being led by a colonel “from outside the brigade’s direct chain of command,” Spiegel said. The senior field grade officer is assigned to V Corps, but Spiegel could not elaborate further.
When the “Dagger” Brigade returned from Iraq late last year, Carmack was not among the contingent. He arrived in Schweinfurt in July and was assigned to the rear detachment.
Spiegel also indicated that Carmack may have served in the Army before, based on his awards, which he did not receive during his “current term of service.” The awards include an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal.