A United States Army Special Forces Group based in Florida are currently scrambling to treat multiple victims following a murder and child sex abuse by their own troopers.
The 7th Special Forces Group -based out of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida- in caught up in a whirlwind of controversy after two of its members were caught up in two separate cases last week- one involving the murder of a spouse and the other involving the sexual assaults of two preteen girls.
Sergeant First Class Derek McKinney of 7th Group was arrested last Sunday after murdering his estranged wife, Natasha McKinney. According to Crestview Police, the 32-year-old Green Beret reportedly called the police and surrendered after the shooting, hands in the air as law enforcement swarmed the scene of the crime.
Speaking on behalf of 7th SFG, group commander Colonel Patrick Colloton said the murder “really took us by surprise.”
McKinney’s daughter has been placed in the custody of a family member in the aftermath of the murder.
Only two days after the homicide, a support troop at 7th SFG -identified as 32-year-old William Thomas Mrozek- was arrested by Crestview Police in connection with two sexual assaults on an 11 and 7-year old girl in 2017.
According to NWF Daily News, the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division is currently involved with the latter case, having previously interviewed the victims, their mother and Mrozek earlier this month.
In response to both incidents, 7th SFG is working on a three-pronged approach used to assist victims, civilian law enforcement and soldiers charged with crimes.
In terms of bad press, Colloton knows what he and the 7th Group are up against.
“I’m not going to win any kind of a media ‘war,’ ″ Colloton said. At Special Forces in particular, he added, “We have a high bar. We are an elite organization. We’re going to face additional scrutiny.”
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