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US soldier was killed by enemy fire in Niger, not captured and executed: new report

Sgt. La David Johnson (YouTube)
December 19, 2017

There has been some clarity regarding how a U.S. soldier died in an ambush in Niger this past October.

Four U.S. service members were killed on Oct. 4 in Niger, West Africa. People have demanded answers as to what took place, and why one service member was recovered almost 48 hours after the attack.

The Associated Press this week reported that Sgt. La David Johnson was killed by enemy fire. It had been reported that Johnson had been found dead with his hands bound, which might have indicated he was captured and executed.

The Associated Press reported that its new findings came from U.S. officials who spoke anonymously because the investigation has not been finalized yet:

An American soldier killed in an ambush in Niger with three comrades but recovered days later wasn’t captured alive by the enemy or executed at close range, The Associated Press has learned, based on the conclusion of a military investigation.

Dispelling a swirl of rumors about how Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, died, the report has determined that he was killed by enemy rifle and machine gun fire as he fled the attack by an offshoot of the Islamic State group about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Niamey, the capital of the African country. The attack took place Oct. 4; Johnson’s body was recovered two days later.

The four soldiers died Oct. 4 in southwest Niger, as a result of hostile fire while on a reconnaissance patrol.

All soldiers were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The incident is under investigation.

In addition to Johnson, those soldiers killed were:

  • Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington;
  • Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and,
  • Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.