In his own words, Cpl. Matthew Wilcox described how he ascertained a “threat” against him inside his own tent at the Kandahar Airfield base in Afghanistan that led him to draw his pistol from a leg holster and shoot a Canadian soldier in the chest.

It was an “instinctive reaction” to fire, Wilcox told a military courtroom at Victoria Park in Sydney Friday afternoon.

“I hear the slide of a pistol being pulled back and at that point I saw the slide being pulled forward. It was pointed directly at me,” he testified.

 

Facing the front entrance of his tent, Wilcox said the gunman was behind him at a five o’clock position.

“It’s hard to describe. I pivot, fall back, draw the pistol from my holster and I fired a round at the pistol.”

Within seconds on that evening of March 6, 2007, he realized he had shot one of his closest friends and bunkmate, Cpl. Kevin Megeney of Stellarton, Pictou County.

“(Megeney’s) pistol dropped and he fell. He collapsed and his head hit the barracks box. I ran over to him and yelled for help,” he said.

Wilcox, 24, of Glace Bay, is charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of duty in the death of 25-year-old Megeney.

He refuted the claim made by one of his friends, Master Cpl. Kyle Keigan, during earlier testimony that he and Megeney had been playing a game of “quick draw” when Megeney was shot.

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