An Army special operations officer is under investigation after fatally shooting a utility worker outside the soldier’s home near Fort Liberty.

The news comes this week after the Moore County Sheriff’s Department shared more information about a May 3 shooting in Carthage, North Carolina, roughly 35 miles west of the U.S. Army base. Deputies were sent to a private residence at 8:15 p.m. that night, following a 911 call of a man trespassing on the residence. The man “became aggressive,” the caller said. When deputies arrived they found Ramzan Daraev, 35, shot dead. The shooter is an Army officer who resided at the home. 

“We are aware of the incident in Carthage involving a USASOC soldier,” said Jacqueline Hill, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “This incident remains under investigation. Per policy, we do not comment on active investigations to protect the process’ integrity. We appreciate the dedication of the Moore County Sheriff’s Department as they investigate.”

According to authorities, Daraev was reported to be working for Utilities One, a New Jersey-based utilities company, as a subcontractor and lived in Chicago, Illinois. The 911 call said that Daraev had been taking photos of the house. 

“Identification was not found on Daraev; however, his identity was later confirmed through family members and an international identification located in his vehicle,” the sheriff’s office May 22 update said. 

The soldier has not been charged with any crime as of press time. The shooting is currently under investigation. All parties are cooperating, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said. Law enforcement is still working to confirm Daraev’s employment status with Utilities One. The Federal Bureau of Investigation provided a translator for local law enforcement to help interview other people said to work with Utilities One. Additionally, authorities contact and reported the incident to U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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Details on the exact incident are unclear, including what caused the situation to escalate to a firearm being pulled and fired. The sheriff’s department said that Daraev suffered more than one gunshot wound and was found “approximately 250 yards from the roadway, along a powerline on the residential property.” According to a petition set up by Daraev’s family, he was shot four times: once in the hand, twice in the back and once in the face. The sheriff’s department noted that Daraev did not have any utilities equipment or clothing with him at the time of the shooting. Daraev was photographing work he had completed when the incident began, his family said.

“The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division is aware of and investigating an incident with local authorities,” CID said in a statement. “As the investigation is ongoing, no additional information can be provided.”

According to the petition, Daraev is originally from Chechnya. The same post said that Daraev did not have any weapon on him and that the Army officer was released after “a short interview” with law enforcement.

“Ramzan left Russia, not realizing that the greatest injustice against him would be done in a free country, where, in theory, he should have received protection,” the family writes.

UPDATE: 05/28/2024; this story has been updated with statements from U.S. Army Special Operations Command and the Army Investigation Division.

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