A US military contractor who served in the US Army Special Forces has been taken off life support after he was allegedly beaten by two US Marines and a Sailor in Iraq.
According to the New York Times, the Marines and sailor under investigation for the contractor’s death were assigned to a Marine special operations unit in Iraq.
Former Green Beret Rick Rodriguez died in a hospital in Germany on Friday, surrounded by his family, who were flown in from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
A 20-year Army veteran, Rodriguez was working a contract for Lockheed Martin in Erbil, Iraq, when he got involved in an altercation with two US Marine gunnery sergeants.
According to the Daily Beast, multiple news sources gave different stories as to how the fight began, with one claiming it took place at a gym and another insinuating a shooting competition had taken place.
“In both scenarios, an atmosphere of bravado and trash-talking, involving multiple people, spilled over into a brawl that left the contractor pummelled and then stomped into unconsciousness.” Daily Beast’s military source said the incident had “lots of witnesses.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is currently investigating the incident, with cooperation of MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) Lockheed Martin.
“Lockheed Martin was saddened to learn of the loss of one of our employees, who was fatally injured while supporting Special Operations Forces within the Operation Inherent Resolve area of operations in a non-combat related incident,” a company spokesperson said Monday. “We are supporting the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as they conduct an investigation into the circumstances of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and we are committed to supporting them during this difficult time.”
“MARSOC [Marine Forces Special Operations Command] is providing all requested support to investigators as they look into this incident,” Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler told ABC News.
The incident remains under investigation.
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