The mystery over who ordered U.S. Army forces to patrol the streets of the south Alabama town where 11 people were killed in a shooting spree last week has been solved.
WND confirmed troops from nearby Ft. Rucker provided limited assistance after a request from the police chief of Samson, Ala.
Multiple news agencies reported the Army was launching an investigation into why the troops were sent to the town, a possible violation of the law. The Associated Press reported uncertainty over who requested the assistance, noting it didn’t come from Republican Gov. Bob Riley or the White House.
“Under the authority of a mutual aid agreement which Fort Rucker has with local law enforcement community in Samson, Alabama, the Samson city police chief requested support from military police after the shooting,” Lt. Col. Almarah Belk, an Air Force officer working for the Department of Defense press office, told WND in a telephone interview.
“Fort Rucker provided 22 military police personnel, and five vehicles were sent into Samson to provide non-law enforcement support in the town of Samson, Alabama,” Belk said.
Belk explained Fort Rucker “was told it would be difficult for the Samson police force to maintain 24/7 operations, and they needed some assistance.”
Belk noted the military police and vehicles were dispatched to Samson for only a few hours.
“By the middle of the night, the military police and vehicles were back at the base,” she said.
No further military assistance was provided in Samson after the night of the shooting, according to Belk.
Lt. Col. Cynthia Bacus, the state public affairs officer for the Alabama National Guard, confirmed to WND that no Alabama National Guard forces were dispatched to Samson during or after the shooting incident.
WND has reported extensively that USNORTHCOM is a combatant military command based at Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a mission to provide Department of Defense-directed military support to state and local law enforcement in domestic emergency situations.
In November 2007, WND published a six-part exclusive series, detailing WND’s on-site presence during the NORAD-USNORTHCOM Vigilant Shield 2008, an exercise that included Canada Command as one of many participants.
In an exclusive interview with WND during Vigilant Shield 2008, commanding officer Gen. Renuart affirmed USNORTHCOM would deploy U.S. troops on U.S. soil should the president declare a domestic emergency in which the Department of Defense ordered USNORTHCOM involvement.
There was no USNORTHCOM involvement in the limited military police deployment in Samson.