Air Force to pay $25 million after accidentally killing contractor in F-16 strafing run

An F-16 Viper assigned to the 311th Fighter Squadron, takes off from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 27, 2020

The U.S. government will pay $24.6 million to the widow of an Air Force contractor who was killed after an F-16 accidentally strafed his position with 20mm rounds, court records show.

Retired Master Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Holbrook, a former Tactical Air Control Party airman turned defense contractor, was killed during a nighttime live-fire training exercise at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on January 31, 2017.

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 Holbrook in the head with a 20mm round,” according to court documents. 

Holbrook died several hours later at

Read More Read more

Litchfield County resident charged with shooting and killing bear as Connecticut population grows and number of bears entering homes breaks record

State environmental police charged a 26-year-old Litchfield County man this week with shooting and killing a black bear following a confrontation with his dog — at a time when the bear population has been steadily growing in Connecticut and spilling into residential neighborhoods.

William O’Connor, 26, of Thomaston, was charged Tuesday after he fired a .22-caliber long rifle in the direction of the mother bear and struck it near his property line, state environmental officials said. O’Connor was “reportedly fearing for his dog’s safety” after his dog had run toward the female black bear and her two cubs.

As the bear was “making huffing noises toward the dog,” O’Connor went back inside his house to retrieve his gun before firing, officials said.

He was charged on a misdemeanor count of illegal taking of a black bear by officers who work for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,

Read More Read more