from LA Times: A U.S. Army combat veteran on leave from a unit headed back to Iraq arranged for a friend to shoot him in the leg in an attempt to avoid returning to the war zone, Philadelphia police said Thursday.
Spc. Marquise Roberts, 23, told police he had been shot Tuesday afternoon as he walked past two men arguing on a North Philadelphia street. But police said their investigation found that Roberts actually was shot once in the leg by a friend as part of a scheme to avoid returning to Iraq.
Philadelphia Police Inspector William Colarulo said Roberts was shot by his wife’s cousin, Roland Fuller, 28, in North Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon. Hospital officials called police after Roberts sought medical treatment â€” standard policy for gunshot wounds, Colarulo said.
More than 5,000 soldiers have been charged with desertion from bases in the U.S. and overseas since the invasion of Iraq in early 2003, according to Pentagon statistics.
The military defines desertion as more than 30 consecutive days absent without leave.