Army investigators say captain who collapsed during video chat was not shot
Foul play not suspected in Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark's death, Army says
Clark's wife says she spotted a bullet hole in a closet behind her husband
Military investigators said Monday that they do not suspect foul play in the death of an Army captain who collapsed during a video call with his wife.
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, 43, was using the video calling service Skype to speak with his wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, on April 30 when he slumped forward. He was dead when military personnel arrived two hours later.
Orellana-Clark said Sunday in a statement that she saw what appeared to be a bullet hole on the wall behind her husband after he collapsed, leading to speculation he had been shot.
While the cause of death is not known, investigators have ruled out a gunshot, Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey said in a statement.
“Agents conducting the investigation, found no trauma to the body beyond minor abrasions and a possible broken nose most likely caused from Captain Clark striking his face on his desk when he collapsed,” Grey said.
“Although we have not completely ruled it out to ensure a complete and thorough investigation is conducted, we do not suspect foul play in the death of Captain Clark at this point in our ongoing investigation,” he said.
In a statement Sunday, Orellana-Clark said that her husband seemed to be in no distress when he was “knocked forward,” revealing what she said appeared to be a bullet hole in the closet door behind him.
Orellana-Clark said she was releasing the details “to honor my husband and dispel the inaccurate information and supposition promulgated by other parties.”
Two U.S. military officials with knowledge of the investigation conducted in Afghanistan confirmed that it took two hours from the time Clark collapsed while on Skype with his wife until military personnel arrived.
They said Orellana-Clark’s request had been routed through several commands in the United States before it was relayed to Afghanistan.
No wounds were found on Clark’s body, according to one of the officials, who said the death has been determined to be “noncombat” and suicide has been ruled out.
An official determination of cause of death is pending autopsy and toxicology results, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation.
Clark, who was a chief nurse, was assigned to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, but deployed with a medical unit from Fort Hood.
He was stationed at Tarin Kowt, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) north of Kandahar.
In addition to his wife, Clark is survived by two daughters.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.