In October, Private Danny Chen's family was informed by the Army that the 19-year-old killed died of an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound" while stationed in Afghanistan. However, his family was also told that he had been bullied and harrassed, and pressed the Army for more information. Now U.S. military officials have charged eight soldiers in Chen's death.

According to the NY Times, "The accused soldiers were all members of the Third Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, First Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Five of them, Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Van Bockel, Sgt. Adam M. Holcomb, Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst, Specialist Thomas P. Curtis and Specialist Ryan J. Offutt, were charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and assault consummated by battery, among other crimes, the statement said. Lt. Daniel J. Schwartz, the only officer among the eight defendants, was charged with dereliction of duty... Sgt. Travis F. Carden was charged with assault and maltreatment, and Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas was charged with dereliction of duty and making a false statement."

Chen grew up in Chinatown and his parents are immigrants who speak little English. Liz OuYang, of Chinese-American advocacy group OCA, has been working with the family and said, "Whether suicide or not, the actions of these people led to his death and they must be prosecuted for killing him... There can be no plea bargaining — they must be tried in the death of Danny Chen.... [He] enlisted to protect the United States. To be killed not by enemy fire, but by superiors in the army, is absolutely unconscionable. These people must be punished."

Earlier, the Times described the alleged fragging: "Three days after his death, a military official told Ms. Chen and her husband, Yan Tao Chen, that investigators had not yet determined whether the shot to the head was self-inflicted or fired by someone else. But the official also revealed, the Chens said, that Private Chen had been subjected to physical abuse and ethnic slurs by superiors, who one night dragged him out of bed and across the floor when he failed to turn off a water heater after showering."