Officials: Soldier may have been shot by hunter

Capt. Jeremiah D. Sipes

January 3, 2011 9:00:00 PM PST
Army officials say they're investigating the possibility a soldier found dead along a jogging trail at Fort Bragg was shot by a hunter.

Captain Jeremiah Sipes, 33, was discovered on the ground along the All American Trail, on the western side of Fort Bragg, near Plank and King roads on New Year's Day.

The All American Trail is used by civilians and members of the military and runs along the Hoke County line.

The military says Sipes died from a single gunshot wound, and there is no evidence or reason to believe it was self-inflicted. It's treating the case as a homicide.

Officials said Wednesday the theory Sipes was shot by a hunter while jogging is one possibility they're investigating. His body was discovered by a hunter who called authorities. Officials did not give the person's name.

Fort Bragg officials say Capt. Sipes should not have been running on the trail that day.

"Main goal to protect public if something is closed; it's closed for a reason. Don't go out there," Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum said.

Officials say the hiking trail is generally open from around the end of February until October.

Capt. Sipes was on a 10 mile run when he was shot. On Wednesday morning members of his unit completed that run in his honor.

He was an intelligence officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. His awards included Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

Capt. Sipes will be buried near his home in Montana.

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