Sniper Opens Fire at Fort Bragg; One Dead, 18 Wounded
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) _ A sniper opened fire today on hundreds of soldiers exercising in the foggy dawn at Fort Bragg, killing one and wounding 18 others. A soldier stationed at the fort was arrested.
The shooting happened near the entrance to Towle Stadium, where members of the elite 82nd Airborne Division routinely do their calisthenics before starting work.
``I heard some shots. It was unusual because we’re not near a range,″ said Pfc. Michael Miller.
A soldier was arrested and was being questioned this morning by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, said Spc. Kerry Deatherage. His name was not being released.
By late morning, the Army said 19 soldiers were hit _ one was killed and 18 were wounded, some critically.
Of the wounded, one was treated and released. The others had various injuries, primarily to the abdomen, chest or lower extremities, said Margaret Tippy, a spokeswoman at Womack Army Hospital. She said some were critical and some were minor.
One of the wounded was taken by ambulance to Duke University Medical Center, where a spokesman said he had a neck wound but was stable, alert and talking.
Military spokesmen would not identify the brigade that was fired upon, but Sgt. 1st Class Dave Schad said 1,300 brigade members _ clad in gray shorts and sweats _ were on the field in foggy conditions about 6:30 a.m.
By 10 a.m., the area was empty except for a few guards and a group of 82nd Airborne troops in maroon berets forming across the street.
About a half-dozen investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division combed a pine-wooded area behind the stadium. One investigator picked up a weapon that looked like an M-16 with a shortened stock and placed it in an evidence bag.
Others picked up what appeared to be a waist belt that carries a canteen and other military supplies. The investigators placed yellow markers on the ground to indicate where they found things.
Fort Bragg, which has 43,000 assigned troops, is an open post, which means people can come and go as they please.
The post is heavily wooded, with cleared areas for training, barracks and housing. The shooting occurred in an open field outside Towle Stadium, a fenced athletic field with some concrete bleachers, lights and football and soccer goals. There were reports that the gunman fired from a wooded area adjacent to the stadium.
``As far as where the shooter was, we don’t know,″ staff Sgt. Tim Donahue said.
The soldiers were ``stretching, possibly getting ready for a jog,″ when they were fired upon, Donahue said.