Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Kyle Palmer sentenced in shooting death of Justin Pope in Iraq

Justins death was first reported as being from sniper fire while working rather than an accidental shooting during a party.

The 25-year-old Riverview native was employed as a civilian contractor with Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp International, where he served as a personal security specialist.He was protecting U.S. diplomats in Kirkuk, Iraq, last Wednesday when his life was cut short by a sniper’s bullet. HERE

RIVERVIEW, Mich. —  A U.S. veteran who returned to Iraq as a civilian contractor was shot to death while protecting American diplomats in Iraq, his employer said Sunday.

American Contractor Killed Protecting Diplomats in Iraq

Justin Pope, 25, died after being shot late Wednesday or early Thursday in Kirkuk, said Douglas Ebner, a spokesman for Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp International.

Detroit-area television station WJBK reported Saturday that Pope was killed by sniper fire. Ebner denied that, saying Pope died of “an accidental gunshot wound.” He would not elaborate, saying the incident was under investigation by DynCorp and the U.S. State Department.

“We’re very sorry that this happened,” Ebner said. “The family has our condolences.”

Pope’s mother, Patricia Salser, said her son joined the Marines after graduating from Riverview High School in 2002. He served two military tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before returning to Iraq as a DynCorp employee, WJBK reported.

Pope’s survivors include his wife and a 7-year-old son.

The AP has reported 1,264 civilian employees of U.S. government contractors died through Sept. 30, 2008, the latest figures available. The vast majority of civilian contractors in Iraq are employed by the Pentagon.

DynCorp is one of three U.S.-based security contractors that work for the State Department in Iraq.

Miss. man sentenced for manslaughter in Iraq

GULFPORT, Miss. — Authorities say a Mississippi man who worked as a security contractor has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for accidentally shooting a co-worker in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced 27-year-old Kyle Palmer of Biloxi on Monday.

Court records said Palmer and Justin Pope worked as security contractors for DynCorp, a Department of State contractor, at a U.S. embassy office in Erbil, Iraq.

A news release from the U.S. attorney’s office said Palmer was intoxicated when he and Palmer pointed a 9 millimeter pistol at each other during an informal party in March 2009.

Palmer allegedly fired Pope’s weapon without checking whether the gun was loaded and accidentally killed Pope.

Original Here

March 30, 2010 - Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp, State Department | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This Story is FALSE. The true facts can be obtained by contacting the federal prosecutor himself and or myself, mother of Justin Pope.

    Comment by patricia salser | April 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Was doing research on my brother’s Marine Corps buddies that were killed. This is one of his good friends, and I wanted to know the background without having to ask him. We are working on a memorial to honor the Marines lost in my brother’s btn as well as my husband’s. I was crying reading this article and would like to know what your side of the story is. I have a hard time believing these are all the facts.

      Comment by Christi | April 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. Kyle is a friend of mine that I have known and played sports with practically my whole life. Kyle just had a lapse in judgement that unfortunately caused a death of a fellow marine. I do know that Kyle is very good with gun and gun safety and had he had his firearm rather than Justins this would not have happened, Kyle is smart enough to know to unchamber the round in his firearm when not on duty especially at a party. I’m curious to why Justin had a round clambered in his pistol. Anyway this was just an unfortunate accident that caused the death of one of kyles own friends.

    Comment by Chad | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. Chad, Kyle was completely wasted and Justin had no alcohol in his system so this was Kyle being careless and a drunk. Justin was always careful with gun safety. Kyle was wasted and murdered Justin.

    Comment by eli | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. Chad, Kyle was completely wasted and killedJustin pope. Justin had no alcohol in his system!! Kyle got drunk and killed justin.

    Comment by eli | January 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Eli, Thank you !!!! Were you their that night? It wes proven through investigation that justin did not have any alcohol in his system. The investigation is still going. Their was no informal party and it was not Justins gun. My god is a god of truth, wisdom and Justice. The truth will be told and these false stories will be fixed. I suffer, my mom and our family suffer everyday. A little boy is left fatherless. I miss my brother.He was a great man. What makes it even more difficult is the men he loved not only took his life but try to disgrace his name and credibility. You could not imagine the pain we feel or the tears we shead on a daily bases. I love you Justin We will make this right!!!!!
      Proud sister of Justin Patrick Pope

      Comment by Proudsisterof justinPope | February 2, 2011 | Reply

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