Soldier admits having himself shot to avoid Iraq return
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday February 27, 2008

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A soldier who claimed to have been shot during a robbery while home from Iraq on emergency family leave has been revealed to have arranged the shooting with a friend.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Army Pfc. Matthew Myers staggered into a mini-mart in Apple Valley, 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles, last Sunday. He called 911 and told the sheriff's office he had been attacked and robbed by an unknown man while walking alongside the Apple Valley Country Club golf course.

Myers was taken to a hospital, but police became suspicious when he claimed it had been too dark for him to describe his assailant. When a search found two parallel sets of footprints, suggesting that Myers and the gunman had been walking together before the shooting, police confronted him with the evidence.

"He admitted it was a setup," Sgt. Todd Newton of the Apple Valley Police told KCAL News. "His friend admitted that he didn't want to go back to Iraq. I believe he was on some sort of emergency military leave. ... He didn't have the guts to do it, so he asked his friend to do it."

Officials intend to file criminal charges against both men, who have been best friends since high school. A military spokesman said that a leg wound like Myers' would not normally be sufficient to cause a soldier to be discharged. However, Myers could be discharged depending on the outcome of the criminal charges.

This video is from KCAL 9, broadcast February 26, 2008.