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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 13:30 EDT

Pentagon inspector general probes Tillman death

August 23, 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s inspector general is
reviewing the Army’s investigation into the friendly fire death
of Army Ranger and former professional football star Pat
Tillman in Afghanistan, a defense official said on Monday.

The official, who asked not to be identified, confirmed a
report in the San Francisco Chronicle that the Army asked for a
review of its investigation into the April 22, 2004, incident.

The Army determined almost immediately after Tillman’s
death that he had been killed inadvertently by fellow Rangers
in a confused spree of gunfire in a remote canyon near the
Pakistani border, according to Army investigators.

But Pentagon officials said in June that the investigation
found that the Army also kept the fact from his family and the
public for weeks and even destroyed evidence.

The Army admitted to “procedural misjudgments and
mistakes,” but rejected criticism by Tillman’s parents and
denied covering up facts in his death.

Tillman played for four years in the National Football
League, but walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the
Arizona Cardinals to sign up as an elite Army Ranger in the
aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on America.

Tillman’s brother also served as a Ranger.

May 29, 2004, the Saturday of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday
weekend, was the first time the Army linked Tillman’s death to
friendly fire. Before then, the Army’s public account of
Tillman’s death had been that he was slain by enemy fire during
an ambush.

Tillman’s parents welcomed the review by the Pentagon’s top
investigative officer. His father, Patrick Tillman, told the
San Francisco Chronicle that “the other investigations were
frauds.”

The Defense Department previously conducted a separate
investigation into Tillman’s death, but has not announced the
results.