A 35-year-old U.S. Army soldier faces a murder charge after authorities this week found his girlfriend shot to death at a home outside of Fort Hood, the same military installation that came under national scrutiny for its handling of another soldier's homicide in 2020.
Authorities in Killeen, a Central Texas city adjacent to Fort Hood, responded to the 1100 block of Wales Drive, about 2 miles from the Army post, at around 8 a.m. on Monday after receiving a report that a woman had been shot.
Investigators entered the home and found a 34-year-old woman, whose identity was withheld pending notification of her family, lying on the floor dead from gunshot wounds, a statement from Killeen police said. She was pronounced dead about an hour after she was found.
Military police on Tuesday said they arrested Army Spc. Michael Moore, an active-duty soldier who, up until his arrest, was working as a plumber for the 68th Engineer Construction Company at Fort Hood. Moore was the woman's boyfriend, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Killeen Daily Herald.
Fort Hood, the Army's largest installation that over the past two decades has been a staging ground for troops deploying to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, came under intense public scrutiny starting in April 2020, after 20-year-old Spc. Vanessa Guillen was reported missing from the post by her family.
Authorities believe another soldier, Spc. Aaron Robinson, beat Guillen to death with a hammer in an armory room on post the morning of April 22, 2020. Investigators say Robinson killed himself as police tried to detain him for questioning, hours after Guillen's remains were found.
Guillen - who was sexual harassed in the months before her death, the U.S. Army has confirmed - became more widely known across the country after lawmakers, urged by the soldier's family, used her story to fight for military reforms that would better protect soldiers from sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Although Fort Hood leaders and Army officials have tried to improve conditions to erase the post's reputation for violence and sexual misconduct, Moore's case is a reminder that soldiers are not immune to domestic violence.
Earlier this week, Moore waived his rights and told investigators that he killed his girlfriend following an argument about their relationship, his arrest affidavit said, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
Moore told authorities that his girlfriend threatened him with a knife and, instead of leaving the home after packing some items, he went back inside and sat on a bed with a gun hidden under a blanket in his lap, the Killeen newspaper said.
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Moore explained that he then shot his girlfriend multiple times after she entered the room and passed a TV hanging on the wall, the affidavit said. However, investigators say forensic evidence shows that the girlfriend was much closer to Moore when he shot her, according to the affidavit.
Moore told Killeen police that his girlfriend said, "You shot me" before Moore shot her again, the Killeen Daily Herald said in its report.
"The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim and the suspect were involved in a domestic dispute when he displayed a handgun and shot the victim," Killeen police said in a statement on Wednesday. "The suspect left the residence to Fort Hood where he was later detained by military police."
Fort Hood in another statement confirmed Moore was an active-duty soldier, explaining that he joined the Army in October 2019.
"His awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Army Service Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon," the statement said.
His bail is set at $1 million and, if he posts bond, he will have to wear a GPS ankle monitor, according to Killeen police.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Soldier working at Fort Hood accused of shooting girlfriend to death