Shooting that seriously wounded veteran spurs debate on use of flashbang grenades

The Marine who fired the bullet that caused the nearly 1-foot-wide wound in Sgt. Jeffrey Arbery’s chest was walking a week ago with an officer when he noticed a man by a sedan carrying a backpack. He got down on his knees and ordered the man to stop, according to three people who were with the officer at the time.

That “flashbang” detonated, sending the man staggering across the street, according to the people who were with the officer, striking the 36-year-old sergeant in the chest.

“I kind of saw everything happen,” said one of the people, a female member of the police SWAT team who served with Sgt. Arbery in the National Guard. She said that “Cpl. Lucas Dewberry” fired the shot that hit Sgt. Arbery, but she said she could not verify his identity or that of his supervisor, Capt. Robert McClure.

The police chief, Eddie Francis, said the shooting did not stem from an officer’s internal fight with a comrade.

His commanding officer, Sgt. Benjamin Ingram, served with Sgt. Arbery for 14 years, was stabbed in the knee in 2012 during a scuffle with fellow Marines but was never taken into custody, according to his attorney, Mark Geragos.

“He was a gentleman,” Mr. Geragos said. “I never saw him argue or rough up a fellow Marine.”

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