WASHINGTON — An attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan that killed one American from West Virginia was carried out by a member of the Afghan national police who is now in Afghan government custody, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
It was the second so-called insider attack there this summer.
Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Kabul, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the American was killed in eastern Afghanistan by an Afghan policeman. Another U.S. service member was wounded; O’Donnell said that person’s wounds are not life-threatening.
On Tuesday evening, the Pentagon said the soldier killed was Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Bolyard, 42, of Thornton, West Virginia. It said he died of wounds sustained from small-arms fire in Logar Province, but it provided no other details about the incident.
Bolyard was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, based at Fort Benning, Georgia. His brigade was sent to Afghanistan early this year as part of a revamped American strategy to bolster the Afghan security forces by placing U.S. military advisers with Afghan troops closer to the front lines.
When the Monday attack was announced, the coalition termed it an apparent insider attack.
The new U.S. commander of coalition forces, Army Gen. Scott Miller, called the death “a tragic loss for all who knew and all who will now never know him.”
O’Donnell said in a telephone interview Tuesday that it now has been “definitely” determined that the attacker was an Afghan policeman. The shooter fled the scene but was apprehended by Afghans, he added.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a proclamation Wednesday ordering that all West Virginia state flags on all state-owned facilities be displayed at half-staff through sunset Wednesday, Sept. 5, in commemoration of Bolyard’s life.
According to the Governor’s Office, it was Bolyard’s seventh deployment overseas.