Family Of Man Accidentally Shot Through The Head By An F-16 Fighter Jet Receives $24 Million In Compensation

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Family Of Man Accidentally Shot Through The Head By An F-16 Fighter Jet Receives $24 Million In Compensation

Photo: Daily Mail

The family of a man shot through the head by a 20mm bullet from an F-16 fighter jet has been awarded over $24 million in damages.

The incident occurred in January 2017 on Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, USA and was the result of an inexperienced trainee pilot who was using night-vision goggles for the first time.

Charles Holbrook, who was 53, died of his injuries in hospital several hours after being shot. He had been present on the base as part of his position as a business development manager, he had been demonstrating a new laser imaging device to officials on the base.

The court ruled that:

"Charles Holbrook was killed when an F-16 student pilot mistook the line of rental cars for the similarly aligned target and was ordered to fire at the group, blowing up one of the rental cars and striking Charles Holbrook in the head with a 20mm round. Mr Holbrook died several hours later at the hospital. Despite the fact that his instruments showed he was on the incorrect target, a target that was not lased or sparkled, but had a red warning strobe light, after his failed attempt to hit the wrong target, neither the MP (Mishap Pilot) or his instructor realised his mistake. When the MP turned on the air-to-ground strafe mode and a strafing reticle appeared in his heads-up display, there was no target information to aim at in the heads-up display, because the target was off to the right … After receiving the okay from the MIP (Mishap Instructor Pilot), the MP squeezed the trigger while the nose of the aircraft was pointed at the OP (observation post) and sent 155 rounds of Vulcan cannon ammunition toward the ground crew, blowing up a rental car and striking Chuck Holbrook in the head with a 20mm round."

It ended its ruling by stating:

"The Defendant United States of America through the U.S. Air Force was responsible for the acts and omissions of their employees, agents, apparent agents and contractors, including Defendant John Does I and II, the JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) personnel and those US Air Force members responsible for training, supervising, directing and ensuring safety in the live fire night-time run."

The large compensation package was awarded to Mr. Holbrook's wife, Belen, and their daughter by Magistrate Judge Stephan Vidmar. New safety and training mechanisms are now said to be in place at the base.

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Thinking Humanity: Family Of Man Accidentally Shot Through The Head By An F-16 Fighter Jet Receives $24 Million In Compensation
Family Of Man Accidentally Shot Through The Head By An F-16 Fighter Jet Receives $24 Million In Compensation
The family of a man shot in the head by a 20mm bullet from an F-16 fighter jet has been awarded over $24 million in damages. The incident occurred in
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