U.S. suspect in Afghan shooting spree has Tri-State roots

Robert Bales (Source: WOIO)
Robert Bales (Source: WOIO)
Source: WOIO
Source: WOIO

(FOX19) - FOX19 has confirmed that the U.S. soldier accused in the shooting rampage in Afghanistan has roots in the Tri-State.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales reportedly shot and killed 16 Afghan civilians -- which included men, women and children -- at close range about a week ago.

Before the shooting the 38-year old reportedly had been drinking in combat zones.

Childhood friend Michael Bevins talked to FOX19, and he has doubts that the information that the military has put out about Sgt. Bales is accurate.

"He was usually the one who tried to keep everyone sober, and tried to keep everything together," he said.

Bevins grew up with Sgt. Bales in Norwood. They fished together, and he watched Bales become captain of the Norwood High School football team, and he made the Cincinnati Post All-City Linebacker. After high school, Bales played one football for one season for the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Bevins told FOX19 that after graduating from the Ohio State University, Bales went to New York City to work as a stockbroker at the World Trade Center. After 9/11, he quit and joined the military.

"There's no way that Bobby Bales could have done that. You can ask anyone in the entire city and they'll tell you the same thing, that's not Bobby," said Bevins.

Bales is currently in solitary confinement at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

FOX19 has confirmed with neighbors and property records that Bales' mother currently lives in Miami Township. When FOX19 arrived at her home, no one answered her door.

The Evendale Police Department has also told FOX19 that they are aware a relative of Bales' is currently living in the village. They are protecting his identity, due to what they believe may be threats to their physical safety.

Bales is married with two small children. It's believed they live in the Seattle, WA area, but they are currently in witness protection.

Charges against Bales are pending.

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