New York 1 News

August 3, 2005

NYC Police Officer, Journalist Killed In Separate Incidents In Iraq


A four-year veteran of the New York Police Department has been killed while guarding prisoners in Iraq, at the same time that a New York City journalist was found murdered there.

NYPD officer James McNaughton, 27, was fatally shot by a sniper while guarding prisoners at Camp Victory outside of Baghdad.

McNaughton, one of about 200 NYPD members serving in Iraq, is the first member of the NYPD to be killed in action in that country.

He had been a member of the NYPD since 2001 and was most recently assigned to the Transit Bureau. His father, step-mother and fiancé are also police officers.

Due to new state legislation passed last year after firefighter Christian Engeldrum was killed in Iraq while serving in the Army National Guard, McNaughton’s family is eligible to receive his full pension and death benefits from the police department.

The legislation classifies the death of a police officer or firefighter while in the military as occurring in the line of duty.

McNaughton had been serving in the Army Reserve's 306th Military Police Battalion.

In southern Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi forces are investigating the brutal murder of a New York City journalist who was working in the city of Basra.

According to the U.S. Embassy, 49-year-old Steven Vincent and his female translator were kidnapped Tuesday by gunmen. Vincent's body was found several hours later with bullet holes in the head and body.

The translator was seriously wounded.

In Manhattan, Vincent's wife declined to speak to reporters but did post a statement on the front door of the couple's apartment building on East 11th Street.

"Steven was a brave, moral and decent man murdered doing what he loved and what he felt was right and important," the statement said. "God bless him and his translator Nour al Khal; may he rest in peace and may she recover soon."

Vincent wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times that was published on Sunday, in which he said the police force in Basra had been infiltrated by insurgents who were responsible for many murders in the area.

Vincent, who was working on a book about Basra, was scheduled to return to New York City later this month.