Decorated Navy SEAL is accused of war crimes in Iraq

In a two-day preliminary hearing at Naval Base San Diego that concluded Thursday, prosecutors presented accounts from several other SEALs in Chief Gallagher’s platoon describing his behavior as reckless and bloodthirsty. They said he fired into civilian crowds, gunned down a girl walking along a riverbank and an old man carrying a water jug, and threatened to kill fellow SEALs if they reported his actions.

Some platoon members were so distraught by the chief’s actions, investigators said, that they tampered with his sniper rifle to make it less accurate, and fired warning shots to scare away civilians before the chief had a chance to shoot them.

“They said they spent more time protecting civilians than they did fighting ISIS,” Special Agent Joe Warpinski of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service told the military court.