DOCUMENT: Investigation

Blackwater Iraqi Carnage Detailed

Blackwater guard describes 2007 fusillade that killed 14 civilians

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Blackwater Iraqi Carnage Detailed

DECEMBER 8--A security contractor has provided federal investigators with a first-person account of a shooting in Baghdad last year that resulted in the death of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians, according to a court filing just unsealed.

Five Blackwater security guards were named today in a 35-count federal indictment charging them with manslaughter and weapons violations in connection with the September 2007 bloodbath in Nisur Square.

A sixth Blackwater employee, Jeremy Ridgeway, 35, pleaded guilty last month for his role in the incident and provided prosecutors with a proffer detailing the shooting, which also injured 20 other individuals.

A copy of the U.S. District Court proffer can be found here.

The Blackwater tactical support team, known as 'Raven 23,' was responding to a report of an improvised explosive device being detonated near a separate Blackwater protective detail.

According to Ridgeway, the 'Raven 23' detail--traveling in four heavily-armored vehicles--set up a blockade in Nisur Square and opened fire on a Kia sedan 'approaching the traffic circle from the south.' The driver, a second-year medical student, was killed. That initial salvo was followed by automatic weapons fire and the launching of grenades, a fusillade that led to the 14 fatalities.

According to the proffer, one Iraqi 'was shot in his chest, while standing in the street with his hands up.' Additionally, none of the victims 'was an insurgent, and many were shot while inside of civilian vehicles that were attempting to flee from the Raven 23 convoy.' (7 pages)