Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (US Army)

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Photo Credit: McChord Air Museum

*Research not complete & includes combat deaths

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is a U.S. military installation home to I Corps and 62d Airlift Wing located 9.1 miles south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Joint Base Headquarters. The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Army’s Fort Lewis and the United States Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base which merged on 1 February 2010 into a Joint Base as a result of Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations of 2005. -Wikipedia

2017:

Michael Mantenuto, US Army Veteran: Found dead at Saltwater State Park, WA

2016:

Louis Moua, US Army: Died in training accident
Timothy Hovey, US Army: Homicide victim, unsolved, cold case, reward
Matthew Thompson, US Army: Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan

2015:

James Ahn, US Army (2015): Parachute Error
A parachute defect went undetected for years and led to a soldier’s death
Army: Parachute manufacturing error caused 2015 JBLM death

Christina Booth, US Army Spouse (2015)
Court papers: Wife of JBLM soldier stabbed kids to keep them quiet
JBLM Soldier’s wife charged with attempted murder, knife attack on her 3 babies
Mom’s Accused Attempted Murder and Mental Health for Spouses

Celia FlorCruz, US Army (2015): Sexual Assault Victim
JBLM Officer Breaks Silence About Sexual Assaults She’s Endured

Skylar Nemetz, US Army (2014): Homicide-Wife

Andrew Sass, US Army (2014): Training Accident
NC soldier killed in training exercise in California

Shawn Woods, US Army (2014): Homicide Victim

Jeremiah Hill, US Army (2013): Homicide-Soldier

Refugio Sanchez Jr, US Army (2013): Homicide-Girlfriend
Former JBLM soldier gets 18 years for beating girlfriend to death
Cops: Mom beaten to death with vacuum cleaner

Robert Bales, US Army (2012): Homicide-Afghan Civilians

Benjamin Colton Barnes, US Army Vet (2012): Homicide/Suicide-Civilian

Robert Chiaravallotti, US Army (2012): Homicide-Wife; Rape-Step Daughter

Abel Gutierrez, US Army (2012)
Mom of former JBLM soldier in murder-suicide found dead

Nathaniel Ollis, US Army (2012): Homicide Victim
Maine soldier found stabbed to death in Olympia, Wash.
Slain Maine soldier just weeks from discharge
Washington Police Give Details About Maine Soldier’s Murder Case
Army private found stabbed in Washington was stationed at troubled base, Fort Lewis

Shannon Remus, US Army (2012): Homicide-Civilian
JBLM soldier gets probation in Wis. homicide case
JBLM police officer arrested, suspected of helping husband hide body in Wisconsin slaying

Michael Ristau, US Army (2012): Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan
Lewis-McChord soldier killed in Afghanistan

Robert Underwood, US Army (2012)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Officer Charged with Making Death Threats

Frank Buoniconti III, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Anne Montgomery, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Dae Han Park, US Army (2011): Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan
IED Kills Local Soldier

Duane Rader, US Army (2011): Domestic Violence
Army Wife Testifies Husband Set Her Legs On Fire
Army wife says husband intentionally lit her legs on fire
Thurston County man to serve time for setting wife on fire
Army sergeant gets 10 years for setting wife’s legs afire

Joseph Satterfield, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Luis Sigfrid, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

David Stewart, US Army (2011)
Man in murder-suicide car identified as soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 10-year-old girl found safe in Oregon

Dakota Wolf, US Army (2011): Homicide-Civilian
Soldier based in Washington state suspected in teen’s fatal stabbing
AWOL soldier charged with teen’s murder
Soldier charged with murder in Kirkland woman’s slaying; friend says suspect, victim knew each other
Wolf pleads guilty to Kirkland woman’s death, victim’s father not satisfied
AWOL soldier gets 20 years for slaying of Kirkland woman

Adriana Alvarez, US Army (2010): Non combat related incident, Iraq

Calvin Gibbs, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Carlos Gill, US Army (2010): Non combat related illness, Afghanistan

Andrew Holmes, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Jeremy Morlock, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Christopher Opat, US Army (2010): Non combat related incident, Iraq

Sheldon Plummer, US Army (2010): Homicide-Wife
*Strangled his wife, Lacey Plummer (Iraq War Army veteran)
Lacey-area soldier gets 14.5 years in wife’s death; family speaks
Homicide details revealed
Sgt. Sheldon Plummer Pleads Guilty to Homefront Murder of Ex-Soldier Wife

Joshua Tabor, US Army (2010): Child Abuse

Michael Wagnon, US Army (2010): Homicide Charges Dropped

Adam Winfield, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Eric Autio, US Army (2009): Accidental Shooting Victim
Fort Lewis Army Wife Kills Husband During Gun Lesson
Fort Lewis soldier fatally shot teaching his wife how to use gun
Soldier accidentally shot dead by wife as he gave her gun lesson

Timothy Bennitt, US Army (2009): Homicide-Civilian
Fort Lewis soldier charged in teen’s death
Soldier charged in girl’s Army base death
Army Says Soldier Gave Teen Lethal Cocktail of Drugs on Base
Soldier guilty in death of teen girl in Fort Lewis barracks
Soldier’s sentence in drug-related death gets another look

John Russell, US Army (2009): Homicide-Soldiers in Iraq

Nathan Smith, US Army (2009): Kidnapping, Rape, and Arson

Amy Tirador, US Army (2009): Death Ruled Suicide, Iraq

Ivette Davila, US Army (2008): Homicide-Husband&Civilian
Soldier admits double murder at Fort Lewis, won’t face death
‘I understood I was killing them’: Fort Lewis soldier admits to murder
Lewis-McChord soldier sentenced to life without parole for double murder, kidnapping baby
Bakersfield soldier could face death penalty in murder case

Timothy Ayers, US Army (2007): Homicide-Soldier
Soldier Accused of Murdering Sergeant
Soldier charged in shooting death of Loganton veteran
Parents of fallen Iraq War soldier angry over court decision
`A hideous accident’

Michael Barbera, US Army (2007): Homicide Charges Dropped

Anthony Cruse, US Army (2007): Homicide-Soldier
Soldier accused of stabbing death
Fort Lewis soldier charged with murder
Licking Man Charged in Murder
Licking Teenager Charged in Army Stabbing
US, Appellee v. Private E1 ANTHONY J. CRUSE, US Army, Appellant (2010)

Hannah Gunterman, US Army (2006): Non combat death, Iraq, Homicide

Suzanne Swift, US Army (2006): Victim of Sex Crimes

Brandon Bare, US Army (2005): Homicide-Wife
Soldier charged in wife’s death
Ft. Lewis stabbing details revealed
Army jury convicts soldier in wife’s death
Soldier, 20, convicted of wife’s murder

Jamaal Lewis, US Army (2005): Homicide-Soldier&Civilian
Fort Lewis soldier sentenced to life for slaying fellow soldier and woman
Crystal McDowell & a Fort Lewis soldier were shot and killed outside a popular bar by another soldier
US, Appellee v. Jamaal A. LEWIS, Specialist, U.S. Army, Appellant (2011)
Jamaal Lewis & Daqon Sipple: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Christopher Baber, US Army (2003): Manslaughter

Jeremy Meyers, US Army (2003): Homicide-Wife

Joshua Koerner, US Army (2000): Homicide Victim
Soldier with Polk Ties Killed

Christian Davis, US Army (1987): Homicide-Wife
Soldier Convicted of Killing Wife

Alexander Cronkhite, US Army (1918): Homicide Victim
Monument marks JBLM mystery death nearly 100 years later
Major Alexander P. Cronkhite is shot and killed during training exercise at Fort Lewis on October 25, 1918

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
‘Kill Team’ Murdered Civilians In Afghanistan
Capital punishment rare for killers in U.S. military
Military Base Jarred by Specter of Gang Killings
Home Base of Accused Soldier Has Faced Scrutiny
Afghan Killings: Troubled History of American Base
Afghanistan shootings are latest trouble linked to Lewis-McChord
Army Base on the Brink
The Kill Team: How U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Murdered Innocent Civilians
How to Spot a Whitewash in Army’s Death Squad Inquiry
What’s happening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord?
Lewis-McChord ‘most troubled base in military,’ report says
Army beefs up leadership at troubled Lewis-McChord base
The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy

Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year [2011], the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg. –NY Times

Army SSG John Russell Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Premeditated Murders of Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq (May 16, 2013)

SSG John Russell, U.S. Army

On May 11, 2009, SSG John Russell gunned down five of his fellow comrades at a mental health clinic at Camp Liberty in Iraq with his M-16. It was revealed that he had an argument with someone at the clinic, left, and came back with his gun. His crimes were determined to be premeditated. He was arrested and subsequently charged with murder and aggravated assault of another soldier that was seriously injured. Days before the killings witnesses noticed that he was distant and having suicidal thoughts. He was also scheduled to leave Iraq in a few days. He was tried for the murders of his fellow comrades and found guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison. But his family feels that the Army should also take responsibility for their actions. The family believes that John was broken and not treated for the injuries he sustained in combat, in the line of duty. SSG Russell was being treated for symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress with medications but it is believed that the psychotropics the military psychiatrists prescribed to him may have played a role in his actions. He was described as a kind, caring man up until the day he committed the unforeseen murders against his fellow soldiers.

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Honoring the Victims:

  1. Major Matthew Houseal, 54, U.S. Army
  2. Commander Keith Springle, 52, U.S. Navy
  3. Sergeant Christian Bueno-Galdos, 25, U.S. Army
  4. Specialist Jacob Barton, 20, U.S. Army
  5. Private First Class Michael Yates, 19, U.S. Army

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Army IDs Sgt. John M. Russell as the shooter who killed 5 fellow soldiers at Iraq base
U.S. soldier charged with murder in Iraq shooting deaths
Army Sgt. that killed 5 comrades in Iraq a Sherman native
Father: Army ‘Broke’ Soldier Held in Kilings
Did Doctors Deny Iraq Shooter’s Stress?
U.S. Soldier Charged in Baghdad Shooting Was Due to Leave Iraq Soon
Horror and stresses of Iraq duty led US sergeant to kill comrades
When PTSD Comes Marching Home
Military Mental Health Crisis Exposed With Camp Liberty Killings
Trial date set in case of officer’s murder
Wait for court-martial in fratricide case frustrates victim’s family
Army judge orders soldier who killed five in Iraq to be hypnotised
Army sergeant pleads guilty to 2009 killing of fellow soldiers
US soldier ‘coolly smoked a cigarette’ before shooting dead five of his comrades in Iraq, court hears
US soldier who shot five troops was ‘broken’ by counsellors
Judge: Soldier premeditated murder of 5 at Iraq combat stress clinic
U.S. soldier found guilty of 5 premeditated killings in Iraq
Sgt. John Russell: Wrenching testimony in penalty phase
Soldier who killed fellow U.S. troops in Iraq gets life sentence
US army sergeant jailed for life over Iraq killings
Psychiatry in the Military: The Hidden Enemy—Full Documentary
Violent Crime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Army SSG John Russell Killed Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq; Found Guilty of Premeditated Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 11, 2009)

Army SSG John Russell Killed Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq; Found Guilty of Premeditated Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 11, 2009)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Honoring the Victims:

  1. Major Matthew Houseal, 54, U.S. Army
  2. Commander Keith Springle, 52, U.S. Navy
  3. Sergeant Christian Bueno-Galdos, 25, U.S. Army
  4. Specialist Jacob Barton, 20, U.S. Army
  5. Private First Class Michael Yates, 19, U.S. Army

On May 11, 2009, SSG John Russell gunned down five of his fellow comrades at a mental health clinic at Camp Liberty in Iraq with his M-16. It was revealed that he had an argument with someone at the clinic, left, and came back with his gun. His crimes were determined to be premeditated. He was arrested and subsequently charged with murder and aggravated assault of another soldier that was seriously injured. Days before the killings witnesses noticed that he was distant and having suicidal thoughts. He was also scheduled to leave Iraq in a few days. He was tried for the murders of his fellow comrades and found guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison on May 16, 2013. But his family feels that the Army should also take responsibility for their actions. The family believes that John was broken and not treated for the injuries he sustained in combat, in the line of duty. SSG Russell was being treated for symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress with medications but it is believed that the psychotropics the military psychiatrists prescribed to him may have played a role in his actions. He was described as a kind, caring man up until the day he committed the unforeseen murders against his fellow soldiers.

SSG John Russell, U.S. Army

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Army IDs Sgt. John M. Russell as the shooter who killed 5 fellow soldiers at Iraq base
U.S. soldier charged with murder in Iraq shooting deaths
Army Sgt. that killed 5 comrades in Iraq a Sherman native
Father: Army ‘Broke’ Soldier Held in Kilings
Did Doctors Deny Iraq Shooter’s Stress?
U.S. Soldier Charged in Baghdad Shooting Was Due to Leave Iraq Soon
Horror and stresses of Iraq duty led US sergeant to kill comrades
When PTSD Comes Marching Home
Military Mental Health Crisis Exposed With Camp Liberty Killings
Trial date set in case of officer’s murder
Wait for court-martial in fratricide case frustrates victim’s family
Army judge orders soldier who killed five in Iraq to be hypnotised
Army sergeant pleads guilty to 2009 killing of fellow soldiers
US soldier ‘coolly smoked a cigarette’ before shooting dead five of his comrades in Iraq, court hears
US soldier who shot five troops was ‘broken’ by counsellors
Judge: Soldier premeditated murder of 5 at Iraq combat stress clinic
U.S. soldier found guilty of 5 premeditated killings in Iraq
Sgt. John Russell: Wrenching testimony in penalty phase
Soldier who killed fellow U.S. troops in Iraq gets life sentence
US army sergeant jailed for life over Iraq killings
Psychiatry in the Military: The Hidden Enemy—Full Documentary
Violent Crime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Army SSG John Russell Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Premeditated Murders of Five Fellow Soldiers at a Mental Health Clinic in Iraq (May 16, 2013)