Witnessed friend suffer 'grave injury' on day before the shooting.
The U.S. soldier held in connection to a heinous shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 16 Afghans over the weekend - including nine children - may have been drunk as he fired.
The soldier, who has not yet been identified, is also believed to have been plagued by various stresses stemming from his deployment, his marriage, and the fact that he had seen a friend's leg blown off the day before the massacre.
A high-ranking U.S. official told The New York Times Thursday: 'When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues - he just snapped'.
He is being represented by John Henry Browne, a lawyer whose resume includes defending notorious serial killer Ted Bundy and Colton Harris-Moore, the 'Barefoot Bandit'.
Mr Browne said Thursday: 'We have been informed that at this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before the alleged incident - gravely injured, and that affected all of the soldiers'.
Nine of the 16 killed by the lone U.S. Army staff sergeant were children, and three were women.
Villagers have described him stalking from house to house in the middle of the night, opening fire on sleeping families and then burning some of the dead bodies.
Browne would not release his client's name, citing concerns for the soldier's family, which is under protection on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma.
But he did say that the soldier had previously been injured twice, and he and his family thought he was done fighting.
Mr Browne added: 'He wasn't thrilled about going on another deployment. He was told he wasn't going back, and then he was told he was going.'
He told reporters that he's met with the wife and other family members of the 38-year-old staff sergeant.
They were totally shocked,' he said. 'He's never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He's in general very mild-mannered.'
Mr Browne said he knew little of the facts of the shooting, but disputed reports that a combination of alcohol, stress and domestic issues caused him to snap.
He said the family said they were unaware of any drinking problem, and described the couple's marriage as 'fabulous'.
The soldier is suspected of going on a shooting rampage in villages near his base in southern Afghanistan early Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians and then burning some of their bodies.
Some villagers told officials they heard shooting from different directions, but many others said they only saw a single soldier. NATO insists the soldier acted alone.
Fort Lewis-McChord is about 45 miles south of Seattle and home to about 100,000 military and civilian personnel.
A former soldier out of Fort Lewis shot and injured a Salt Lake City police officer in 2010, and on January 1, a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran shot and killed a Mount Rainier National Park ranger.
Four Lewis-McChord soldiers were convicted in the deliberate thrill killings of three Afghan civilians in 2010.
The military newspaper Stars and Stripes called it 'the most troubled base in the military' that year.
The shooting, which followed a controversial Quran-burning incident involving U.S. soldiers, has outraged Afghan officials.
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