CNN BREAKING NEWS
Interview with Lt. Chris Davis
Aired October 8, 2002 - 09:32 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We told you about an hour ago, one U.S. Marine is dead now, another injured after a shoot-out just off the coast of Kuwait on an island called Failaka.
Lieutenant Chris Davis, a spokesperson with the U.S. Fifth Fleet out of Bahrain by telephone with us now -- Lieutenant, what happened here?
LT. CHRIS DAVIS, SPOKESMAN, FIFTH FLEET: I don't have a lot of details as to exactly what happened. What I can confirm for you, sir, is that we do have a U.S. Marine dead, and one U.S. Marine injured following a shooting incident during our annual exercise Eager Mace up in Kuwait. It occurred around 11:15 this morning. Once the incident occurred, the two Marines that were shot were immediately medevaced to a military hospital there in Kuwait. And subsequently, we received reports from our folks on the ground that one of the Marines has died.
HEMMER: It's my understanding this exercise, in concert with Kuwaiti troops, was expected to take place over a two-week period. When did the exercise begin, how long have they been there, sir?
DAVIS: The exercise began in mid-September. It was due to go through the middle of October for approximately about a month. It started around 19 September and was due to go to around 19 October.
HEMMER: So several weeks longer than the information I had. Kuwait is saying this was an accident? What can you add to that?
DAVIS: Nothing. We are trying to get as many details as we can. The incident is under investigation. We don't have a lot of details right now, just really sketchy information at best, but...
HEMMER: Can you tell us, sir, or maybe enlighten us a little bit. Apparently we had a report an hour ago about a few civilians involved on the other side of this shooting incident. Have they been shot and killed?
DAVIS: We don't know that. That has not been confirmed yet.
HEMMER: And were they in a vehicle that came close to this exercise?
DAVIS: Again, still trying to sift through those for you, sir. As soon as we get more information from the expeditionary unit that is there, we'll continue to make that information available.
HEMMER: I understand you're a bit handicapped with information. Let me try again here, though. Who fired first?
DAVIS: From what we understand, there were -- I don't know how many were involved in the incident from the other side, but those individuals fired upon the U.S. Marines first.
HEMMER: And quickly, the island. How long exercises like these been carried out? Is this going back several years or is this a new thing there?
DAVIS: This exercise goes back to 1994. We've done it every year since '94.
HEMMER: OK. Lieutenant Chris Davis, spokesperson out of Bahrain with the U.S. Fifth Fleet. Also, CNN reporting that two non-civilians killed as a result of that shoot-out. But again, the news we have now, at least one U.S. Marine shot and killed earlier today during this exercise, another U.S. Marine apparently also wounded in that as well. In addition, as I mentioned, the two other civilians caught up in that as well. So what happened there, details still coming in.
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