Dec. 20, 2011
WOODS HOLE, Mass. — An American soldier facing murder charges for allegedly killing 22-year-old Falmouth resident Sgt. Matthew Gallagher in Iraq this past June testified during a pretrial hearing on Dec. 17 that Gallagher was killed while playing a deadly game of "quick-draw." The hearing took place at Fort Hood in Texas.
Army Sgt. Brent McBride, 25, is accused of shooting Gallagher in the head while trying to see who could draw their 9 mm pistols the fastest.
The Cape Cod Times, which sent a reporter to the hearing, reported that a tearful McBride testified that he held his gun to Gallagher's head and pulled the trigger, after Gallagher first pulled a gun on him as part of a "quick-draw" game the soldiers played.
Other soldiers in the unit testified that Gallagher and McBride were best friends.
Members of Gallagher's family, including his mother Cheryl Ruggiero of North Falmouth, went into the hearing not knowing what had happened to Gallagher.
In an interview just days after the shooting, Ruggiero said Army officials initially told her that Gallagher was killed while clearing a housing unit with a second soldier.
"They told us that he and another soldier were going into a housing unit and shots were fired," Ruggiero said, "and they didn't come out and say he was shot, but that another person called for a medic, and he didn't make it to the hospital, and that he was dead. And that was it."
An Army official will now make a recommendation to the commander of the 1st Calvary Division's 3rd Brigade on whether to move forward with murder charges against McBride.