Afghan attack suspect at Leavenworth

Abdul Samad, center, eleven of whose family members were allegedly killed by a U.S. soldier in Panjwai, Afghanistan, talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, unseen, at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 16, 2012.
A photograph of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. soldier who is suspected to be involved in the shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians on March 11, 2012.

Updated March 17, 1:50 AM ET

(CBS/AP) FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - The soldier accused of gunning down 16 Afghan villagers has arrived at a U.S. military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Army officials said in a statement released early to The Associated Press that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales arrived Friday night at the prison in northeast Kansas.

Bales is an 11-year veteran who was in the midst of his fourth tour in a war zone. He arrived in Afghanistan in December. He was assigned Feb. 1 to work with a village stability force that pairs special operations troops with villagers to help provide neighborhood security.

He's accused of going on a shooting rampage in villages near his southern Afghanistan base early Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians, then burning some of their bodies.

Bales has not yet been charged. He was flown from Kuwait and arrived at a military detention center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the military's only maximum-security prison.

The Army said he was placed in his own cell, not a normal four-person bay. He will get time out of his cell for hygiene and recreational purposes and religious support, if he desires.

An Air Force cargo jet arrived at Kansas City International Airport, about an hour from the military prison, shortly after 9 p.m. Friday. Security was tight, with the terminal completely blocked off, and a convoy of unmarked vehicles pulled off the tarmac and out of the airport.

As earlier reported, John Henry Browne, a defense attorney from Seattle, confirmed his client's identity.

Bales, 38, is from Ohio but was stationed at joint base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Multiple sources familiar with the investigation confirmed the suspect's identity to CBS News, but his name had not officially been released, in part out of fear for the safety of the man's family. The family has been moved from their home off-base to a location within the base.

Military officials say the soldier received sniper training and is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, of the 2nd Infantry Division, which is based at Lewis-McChord and has been dispatched to Iraq three times since 2003.

Reporters swarmed Bales' neighborhood in Washington state on Friday night in the rural community, a wooded area filled with pine trees about 20 miles northeast from the base.

Kassie Holland, who lives next door, said she would often see Bales playing with his two kids and the family together at the modern split-level home.

"My reaction is that I'm shocked," she said. "I can't believe it was him. There were no signs. It's really sad. I don't want to believe that he did it."

"He always had a good attitude about being in the service. He was never really angry about it. When I heard him talk, he said, it seemed like, yeah, that's my job. That's what I do. He never expressed a lot of emotion toward it."

Beau Britt, who lives across the street, said: "For something like that to be right across the street from us is just amazing."

"I kind of sympathize for him, being gone, being sent over there four times. I can understand he's probably quite wracked mentally, so I just hope that things are justified in court. I hope it goes OK."

Watch video of a neighbor of the alleged shooter below:

Browne said his client was injured twice while deployed to Iraq. He suffered a concussion in a vehicle accident caused by an improvised explosive device, and sustained a battle-related injury requiring surgery that removed part of one foot. Browne said his client was "highly decorated."

Browne said when the 11-year veteran heard he was being sent to Afghanistan late last year, he did not want to go.

"He wasn't thrilled about going on another deployment," Browne said. "He was told he wasn't going back, and then he was told he was going."