April 29th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

U.S. troops killed by Afghan pilot were armed, NATO says

The eight American troops killed by an Afghan pilot earlier this week at an airport in Kabul were all armed with "weapons and ammo," according to the preliminary findings released Friday of an investigation by NATO and the Afghan government.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has said the military pilot opened fire on the troops, sparking a gunfight on Wednesday.

The investigation centers around how the gunman managed to kill eight armed troops, an ISAF official briefed on the investigation told CNN. A private American contractor was also killed in the shooting.

Investigators also found that the gunman was severely wounded prior to departing the room where the initial attack took place, according to an ISAF statement about the investigation. The gunman was found dead in a different part of the building at the military section of the Kabul International Airport, ISAF said.

Photos of the aftermath show a trail of blood as the gunman left the room, the ISAF official said. Investigators do not know if he died of wounds or committed suicide.

All eight American service members were killed in the room where the shooting occurred.

Also Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense also released the names of the eight airmen killed:

- Maj. Philip D. Ambard, 44, of Edmonds, Washington. He was assigned to the 460th Space Communications Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

- Maj. Jeffrey O. Ausborn, 41, of Gadsden, Alabama. He was assigned to the 99th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

- Maj. David L. Brodeur, 34, of Auburn, Massachussetts. He was assigned to the 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

- Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, of Deltona, Florida. She was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

- Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., 37, of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was assigned to the 56th Operations Group, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

- Maj. Raymond G. Estelle II, 40, of New Haven, Connecticut. He was assigned to Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

- Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, 35, of Hockley, Texas. He was assigned to the 25th Operational Weather Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

- Capt. Charles A. Ransom, 31, of Midlothian, Virginia. He was assigned to the 83rd Network Operations Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. salerno

    The gunman should be felt offended seriously by something. US arrogance is well known, even OBL blamed US for that.
    This time, thank God, the responsibles paid an high price. Americans think they can do what they want, but not always it is possible. It was no possible to get OBL. They should have asked him like they did for Assange, using legal ways. US power is shrinking internationally, the G20 was a failure for Obama. Afghanistan will be the beginning of the end.
    The financial scandals, corruption and lies to move wars around the globe are all symptoms of decadence, the same decadence of the Roman empire naufragated in this own vices.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. graybay

    Why is Fox reporting that they were not armed. That the killer got into some kind of argument, left the room and came back later and opened fire. The Col. being interviiew said that it was part of the military policy that weapons aren't allowed in the building they were in. ??? This would expain it but do we know for sure?

    April 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gogodancer

    How can you have a chance against an AK-47 when you have only an M9mm pistol which most officers carry

    April 30, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. rob roy

    apparently the Afghan was a little quicker on the trigger then the American boy's.Take away the drone's,air support, night vision,satellite help,body armour,apache helicopters and the other coalition countries[who were told to tag along]. Slap a robe on, a pair of sandals an rpg in one hand an a AK-47 in the other and bring you boys down to the same playing level.What am i saying? 10 plus years on coalition troops are dying everyday,suicides amongst American veterans is at an all time high,multiple limb amputee's are at an alarming rate and now the pentagon is warning that the rate of attacks on coalition troops is about to increase again.Now that i think about it America,you better keep all your toys of war on hand because the next 10 years is going to just as deadly.

    April 30, 2011 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. salerno

    It happened because the US soldiers are unable to engage a real face to face fight. A true warrior alone killed 9 of them, 8 armed military officials. They were not quick enough to call air support with hellfires, the only way they can kill the enemy.
    US soldiers were mostly experienced officials, just 1 sergent and many majors or captains; they could just cause some wounds to the afghan pilot.

    April 30, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Napoli

      If we are at a meeting and I pulled an automatic rifle and started spraying the room with 7.62 rounds, you would be lucky to say "good-bye", too. Never mind firing back. It is called a surprise attack.

      Surely, it was an effective kill. Planned by an enemy as an attack or just a trusted collaborator gone mad is yet to be seen. Again, your hypothesis are plausible, so are others. In the mean time, let's hold down the exotic heroic accolades, along with the accusations of a lack of it on the ISAF side. Even though ISAF prefers a less personal approach to combat, so does the enemy. ISAF does not lack in door kicking shoot-outs and victories, with a personal touch.

      April 30, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gary Johndro

    This is indeed terrible. How could this have happened? It's beyond me,it is,it is.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |