A Case of Fratricide: Who Killed Pat Tillman?

Within 24 hours after the Rangers killed Pat Tillman, Scott, who has since risen to the rank of major, was assigned to conduct the first, though unofficial, investigation. He was told up front that fratricide was suspected, a suspicion he seconded after he interviewed the Rangers and finished his inquiry. According to the transcript of his statement given to investigators later, he found Tillman had been killed by friendly fire.

At the time he was assigned to the investigation, Scott was already a decorated, if young, officer on the rise. A year earlier, he'd been recognized at the Pentagon during ceremonies for the 16th annual Gen. Douglas MacArthur Army Leadership Awards. Army brass, however, subsequently determined the assignment of Scott to the investigation wasn't in line with Army protocol once the scope of the inquiry began to focus on his superior officer, Kauzlarich. According to Army documents, though, Kauzlarich was assigned to what would become the Army's first official investigation on May 8, 2004, a little more than two weeks after Tillman had been killed. Kauzlarich completed his report within a week.

The existence of the Army's initial investigation didn't become known by the Tillman family until Kevin Tillman's chance encounter with Scott at Fort Bragg, N.C., in late 2004.

Scott's conclusions were more unfavorable toward the actions of the Rangers than any of the subsequent Army investigations, and they came during a time of turmoil and negative headlines for the Army and the Bush administration. The war images in front of the public were awful. Remains of the bodies of American contractors working in Iraq were strung up in Fallujah just three weeks before Tillman's death. And on April 28, "60 Minutes II" broadcast graphic photos depicting abuse by U.S. soldiers working as guards in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

According to Scott's statement provided in an investigation concluded last year and obtained by ESPN.com, he said he believed some of the shooters "could be charged for criminal intent" and at least three had demonstrated "gross negligence." Scott told Jones, the brigadier general assigned to conduct the most recently concluded investigation, that Baker should have been "chaptered out of the Army" and expressed his frustration that the shooters were allowed to change their stories and hadn't been punished adequately.

Reached by ESPN.com, Scott declined to elaborate, saying "Unfortunately, I can't really discuss anything until the [current] investigation is over with. I'm under a strict order not to."

Jones, who retired from the Army in January, also declined comment.

In findings released in March 2005, Jones acknowledged the Army knew almost immediately that Tillman had been killed by fellow soldiers, but blamed confusion over an interpretation of the regulations rather than a cover-up for the delay in telling Tillman's family. Jones upheld the awarding of the Silver Star to Tillman, even though he'd been killed before he could carry out what, in Jones' words, was an "audacious plan" that evening on the battlefield.

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