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WASHINGTON, May 13, 2009 – Military officials in Baghdad today identified a soldier who has been charged with shooting and killing five of his comrades at a combat stress center at Camp Liberty, Iraq on Monday. Army Sgt. John M. Russell, 44, of Sherman, Texas, is being held in military police custody at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, and has been charged with five specifications of murder and one of aggravated assault, said Army Maj. Hunter Holliday, a military spokesman in Baghdad.

Russell is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, based in Bamberg, Germany.

Holliday said the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the incident, and that a separate investigation is looking at the overall behavioral health services being offered in Iraq.

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