US soldier ambushed in Niger wasn't captured

Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Fla., was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger. (Photo: U.S. Army)
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WASHINGTON (WILX/AP) The Associated Press has learned that an American soldier killed in an ambush in Niger with three comrades but recovered days later wasn't captured alive by the enemy or executed at close range.

That conclusion is based on the findings of a military investigation.

The report has determined that La David Johnson -- a 25-year-old sergeant -- was killed by enemy rifle and machine gun fire as he fled the attack by an offshoot of the Islamic State group.

The report also found Sgt. Johnson was hit by as many as 18 bullets.

The attack took place Oct. 4. Johnson's body was recovered two days later.

U.S. officials familiar with the findings spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to describe details of an investigation that has not been finalized or publicly released.

The Defense Department is expected to release a full on report on the Niger ambush investigation next month.