sábado, 30 de junio de 2012

Officer killed in Thursday Fort Bragg shooting identified - Stars and Stripes

A Fort Bragg battalion commander who was shot and killed Thursday afternoon was identified Saturday on the base's website as Lt. Col. Roy L. Tisdale.

Tisdale was killed during a unit safety briefing in a field near the Bastogne Gables neighborhood on Fort Bragg.

Fort Bragg officials have not identified the soldier who opened fire during the briefing before turning the weapon on himself.

A third soldier who was wounded has been identified as Spc. Michael E. Latham, Fort Bragg officials said Friday.

All three were assigned to the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, according to Fort Bragg.

Latham, a signal support system specialist, was treated at Womack Army Medical Center for minor, non-life-threatening injuries and released.

Latham, 22, is a Vacaville, Calif., native who joined the Army in October 2009.

The shooter is in critical condition and is in custody, Fort Bragg officials said.

The remaining identifications will be released "consistent with Department of Defense policies following next-of-kin notification," according to a news release from Fort Bragg. A Fort Bragg spokesman said he could not say why there was a delay in naming those involved in the shooting, which occurred about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Family friends and former colleagues described Tisdale as a family man who deserved to be known for more than just the rank he wore.

Tisdale was commander of the 525th Brigade Support Battalion.

He and his wife, Kim, are from the small town of Alvin, Texas, near Houston.

A woman who went to high school with the pair and described herself as a lifelong friend of Kim Tisdale described Tisdale as a sweet guy who, along with his wife, created the perfect couple.

The friend, who spoke on the condition she not be identified because there had been no official announcement of Tisdale's death, said the couple have two children.

She said Alvin is a small community that is in shock after hearing the news of Tisdale's death.

"We're very proud of him. He's our hometown boy," she said. "We're completely stunned."

The woman described Tisdale as a "wonderful father and husband."

"Family was a priority," she said. "He wanted his family to be happy. This was a wonderful man who was lost."

According to Fort Bragg, someone reported the shooting to 911 at 3:31 p.m. The first military policeman arrived four minutes later, and medical personnel arrived soon after.

After the shooting, two brigade chaplains began helping those on the scene and, within an hour, more than a dozen chaplains from across Fort Bragg and 10 behavioral health specialists responded and spent more than five hours counseling those affected by the incident.

"Taking care of the soldiers in the unit and their families is our number one priority at this time, while we simultaneously work the investigation surrounding this terrible tragedy," Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, said in a news release.

Earlier Friday, officials in the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade thanked the community for its thoughts, prayers and condolences in light of the fatal shooting.

The brief message was posted on the brigade's Facebook page.

After the shooting, an outpouring of support has come to the military installation through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Other officials also weighed in.

"I'm deeply saddened and disturbed by the tragic shooting at Fort Bragg yesterday," U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., said Friday afternoon. "My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased soldier. The unit, the affected families and the citizens of the local Fort Bragg area have my full support during this difficult time."

Thursday's shooting took place in a field near the Bastogne Gables neighborhood on Fort Bragg that is near the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and the 16th Military Police Brigade.

During the investigation, officials blocked intersections in the area of Letterman and Armistead streets.

Fort Bragg officials said the immediate area around the shooting was closed to traffic and no one outside the vicinity of the shooting was ever in danger.

It is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Command.

A CID spokesman, Chris Grey, said the killing was the first caused by a firearm on Fort Bragg in at least five years.

Several gun restrictions are in place on Fort Bragg, and it is unclear whether the shooter used an issued weapon or a personal weapon.

According to the Fort Bragg website, concealed weapons are not authorized on the military installation unless it is by a working law enforcement officer.

If a soldier lives in barracks or if his unit dictates, he can be made to store his personal weapons in a unit arms room.

Thursday's killing appears to be the first shooting murder on Fort Bragg in more than 15 years, when Sgt. William J. Kreutzer Jr. opened fire on his brigade at Towle Stadium. Kreutzer shot and killed Maj. Stephen Mark Badger and wounded 18 others in October 1995. He is serving a life sentence at a military prison in Kansas.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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