911 call reveals soldier shot by hunter

Capt. Jeremiah D. Sipes

January 5, 2011 9:00:00 PM PST
A 911 call released Thursday reveals a hunter shot at what he thought was deer, but turned out to be a soldier.

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 911 call came in from a hunter whose friend had accidentally shot Sipes.

The caller said Capt. Sipes apparently startled a deer and it ran. He said his friend thought he shot at the deer, but they found the Fort Bragg solider mortally wounded.

"We were hunting here and a guy was running down the fire break and jumped a deer," the caller told a 911 dispatcher. "This guy with me shot him, we need some help quick."

The shooting happened along a jogging and running path around Fort Bragg's perimeter used by civilians and members of the military that runs along the Hoke County line.

The trail was closed for deer hunting season. Bragg officials say warning signs were posted along the path, but investigators aren't sure if Sipes saw the notices or not.

Army's Criminal Investigation Command investigators are treating the shooting as a homicide, but say it may also be ruled as an accidental hunting death.

CID officials are not saying what if any charges the hunter may face and are not releasing his name at this time.

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

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

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