Royal Marine 40 Commando Corporal David O'Connor shot by off-duty police man, inquest hears (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Royal Marine 40 Commando Corporal David O'Connor shot by off-duty police man, inquest hears
AN inquest into the death of a 40 Commando Royal Marine in Afghanistan has concluded he was unlawfully killed on active service.
Corporal David O’Connor, 27, was killed on October 24 last year on duty in Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district.
An inquest at Oxford County Hall on Tuesday heard how both Cpl O’Connor and Cpl Channing Day, 25, of 3 Medical Regiment, who was providing medical support to troops, died from single gunshot wounds to the chest when they were shot at by an off-duty Afghan police officer.
Their unit, under the command of Cpl Philip Benford, was attacked at a checkpoint near the village of Char Kutsa while they were on their way to train local Afghan police forces.
Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said the incident|should be termed as ‘an insider attack’ but he|said the motive behind the gun battle remained unclear.
He told the court that a man, whose name was Naqib, a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police, was responsible for the fatal gun shot wounds to Cpl Day and Cpl O’Connor before he was killed himself.
Cpl O’Connor, who was based at the 40 Commando camp in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September last year as a section commander in the acting rank of corporal.
Sgt Richard Bateman, also giving evidence to the court, described Cpl O’Connor as an ‘exceptional’ marine.
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