A Deadly Encounter

An enigmatic shooting incident in Carthage, North Carolina, just north of Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg), is currently under scrutiny by both the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and local law enforcement. The event occurred on May 3rd at 8:15 p.m. after a report of a suspected trespasser near the property of a Special Forces soldier.

The investigation has thus far revealed two Chechen men, speaking broken English, near the soldier’s home. The family alleges that one of the suspects, 35-year-old Ramzan Daraev from Chicago, was photographing their children. When confronted in a wooded area near a power line, an altercation broke out, resulting in Daraev being shot multiple times at close range. Another man, Dzhankutov Adsalan, found in a vehicle some distance away, was questioned by law enforcement and released. Local police are running the investigation. 

Fort Liberty Shooting
The location of the shooting off Dowd road in Carthage, NC. Many special operations forces families reside in this general area.

The FBI, in a statement to the media, confirmed, “Our law enforcement partners at the Moore County Sheriff’s Office contacted the FBI after a shooting death in Carthage. A special agent met with investigators and provided a linguist to assist with a language barrier for interviews.”

Local Sheriff Explains

Sheriff Ronnie Fields explained,

“The caller indicated that an individual was observed taking photographs on the property and had become aggressive towards a resident outside their home. The deceased was found approximately 250 yards from the roadway, along a powerline on the residential property. Identification was not initially found on Daraev; however, his identity was later confirmed through family members and an international identification located in his vehicle.”

The shooter was identified as a colonel in the U.S. Army and a member of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) residing at the shooting location.

Across the country, special operations forces soldiers have reported unusual interactions that suggest suspicious surveillance of them and their families. Many suspect that U.S. military bases are increasingly targeted for foreign intelligence activities.

Foreign Nationals and Military Surveillance

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the shooting incident might be a case of mistaken identity or some sort of misunderstanding, but the presence of the two Chechens lurking around the colonel’s home taking photos raises serious questions. They had no personal identification but possessed two cell phones with Russian-language contacts and camera equipment. They were not wearing any uniforms for the power company they claimed to work for.

Sheriff Fields noted that Daraev was employed as a subcontractor for Utilities One, a New Jersey-based company, at the time of his death. Investigators are working to verify his employment and immigration status. At the time of the incident, Daraev had no utility equipment, clothing, or identification on him. The incident has also been reported to OSHA.


Power Company Employment as a Possible Cover

Sources informed Fox News that “power company employment is often a cover for status/action” used by U.S. intelligence for overseas surveillance.

Eighteen months prior, Moore County (where Carthage is located) experienced another mysterious shooting targeting two electrical distribution substations. The attack left up to 40,000 customers without power for nearly two weeks, primarily affecting communities with many U.S. Special Operations families. Shortly before this incident, the FBI had warned of threats to electric infrastructure from individuals espousing “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideology.” The FBI took over that investigation, which remains unsolved.

Daraev’s family has started a Change.org petition titled “Justice for Ramzan Daraev,” which has gathered over 11,000 signatures. The petition states, “Ramzan left Russia, not realizing that the greatest injustice against him would be done in a free country where, in theory, he should have received protection.”

Shooting location
The intersection of Burle (right) and Dowd (left) roads near Carthage, NC, in a clearly rural, wooded area. What were two men doing out here after dark, taking photos of a Special Forces soldier’s children?

The Ongoing Investigation

While it is possible this recent shooting could be an extreme case of being in the wrong case at the wrong time, it leaves many questions unanswered. Why were two Russian-speaking Chechens taking photos near an elite Army Special Forces soldier’s residence at 8:15 p.m., just ten minutes after sunset? Why is the FBI not leading the investigation? 

The FBI responded to media requests, stating that it had not opened a counterintelligence investigation and that “the local investigation has not uncovered evidence of a federal crime.” It added,” The FBI is in regular contact with the sheriff’s office investigators and is prepared to investigate if a federal matter comes to light.”

This is an ongoing investigation, and SOFREP will bring you additional details on the matter as they present themselves.

UPDATE 01JUN24: The name of the soldier who killed Daraev has not been released to the press. A spokeswoman for USASOC could not release any additional facts about the shooting as this is an ongoing investigation.

Daraev’s family has started a petition with the goal of seeing that the soldier who killed their loved one is charged with his death. It had received nearly 12,000 signatures by 25 May.

They argue that the colonel shot Daraev “in cold blood” and the dead man was “unarmed and unaggressive” when he was approached by the soldier. Why they believe that to be true, I have no idea. No family members were on the scene, and the other man with Daraev was seated in a vehicle “some distance away” from the altercation.

Police Question The Man With Daraev

Fort Liberty Shooting Pic
Officers speak with Adsalam Dzhankutov, the man accompanying Daraev, near his vehicle parked along Dowd Road in Carthage on the third of May following the fatal shooting. Image Credit: Daniel Gwyn for the Sandhills Sentinel

The 911 Call

Transcripts from two 911 calls made that evening by the colonel’s wife have been released to the press.

The first call was made at 8:12 PM, shortly after sunset that Friday evening. In a calm voice, the female caller stated:

“Hi, we have an intruder on our property. We just need some police presence … My husband has gone to meet him, is now talking to him, and yelled to me from the woodline to call the police. He’s been very aggressive.”

The police dispatcher then asked,  “OK, so he’s out in the woods?”

The woman replied, “They are talking to each other on the property line right now, and they are obviously having a difficult time communicating,” She continued, “My husband’s just yelling to me to call the police, call the police. He doesn’t belong here. I don’t know if he’s a — I don’t know. Very aggressive.”

The dispatcher inquired if she had any additional information. The colonel’s wife continued, “No, I’m watching them right now … (there’s) a powerline that runs down our property, and they’re standing on the power line,” the caller said. “He came up into our, uh, onto our farm and I noticed then the dogs were barking at him. And my husband went to approach him and he’s just saying, like, ‘Please call the police.'”

The dispatcher asked the woman if she felt safe. When she said she did, the first call ended.

The unnamed woman placed the second call to 911 at 8:20 PM. She was breathing heavily when the dispatcher picked up and her voice had a sense of urgency:

“I really need the cops here … We’ve got people on our property. Please hurry,” 

The dispatcher explained that officers were currently busy with other calls. The female caller next shouted to someone nearby, “I need a rifle quick, get it quick!”. She told someone on the property to go inside and shut the door.

“Ma’am, can you still see your husband?” the dispatcher queried.

“Yes, but he’s…please hurry.”

Next, she yelled out to someone who must have been fairly far away from her, “It’s coming!”, she cried.

Hearing this, the dispatcher asked what was going on.

The caller replied, “There are people like advancing on our property.” She could not confirm if it was one person, or more. The dispatcher could hear “hollering” in the background and asked the caller if that was her husband. She responded in the affirmative and continued,

“This person is from Chechnya,” the caller continued. “He came up on our property line. My kids are in the backyard. He’s taking pictures of our property. My husband he, he’s military … he’s trained and he knows what he’s doing, but I really need some police presence here.”

“He’s taking pictures of your property?” asked the 911 dispatcher.

The caller replied, “Of our children, of our property, yes.”

As of this writing, no charges have been filed in this shooting.