Press Discovers Tragic Shooting in Maryland Had Iraq Connection

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By: E&P Staff and The Associated Press

An Army Reservist despondent about being sent to Iraq was killed by police during a 14-hour standoff that began Christmas night when family members told authorities he was armed and threatening to kill himself. The Washington Post first explored the Iraq connection on Tuesday.

James Emerick Dean, 28, will likely not be included on the rapidly growing list of Iraq war dead, but that conflict killed him just the same.

He had barricaded himself inside his father’s house with several weapons Monday night, family members told police. He later told officers he would shoot anyone who entered the house. His father was not home at the time.

Around noon Tuesday, while police were preparing to use tear gas to force Dean out of the home, Dean came to the front door and pointed his weapon at an officer, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said. Another deputy shot Dean once, killing him.

Dean had already served 18 months in Afghanistan and was despondent after learning recently that he would be deployed to Iraq, family members told police.

During the standoff, Dean fired several shots at police, including one that struck a car where a deputy sat. The officer was not injured.

Cameron did not know what reserve unit Dean served in.

Wanda Matthews, who lives next door to Dean’s father, told the Washington Post’s Megan Greenwell she knew the young man was depressed about heading to Iraq.

“His dad told me that he didn’t want to go to war,” Matthews said. “He had already been out there and didn’t want to go again.”

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