Officials have identified Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, and Army veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, as the two men found dead at a Fort Bragg training area on Wednesday.
Lavigne was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Army Special Operations Command, according to a media release. Dumas, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, was a chief warrant officer 3 who served for more than 19 years, said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Hewitt, an Army spokesman. He had been stationed at Fort Bragg, according to a media release.
“The loss of a Soldier is always tragic,” said Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, Lavinge’s company commander, said in a statement. “Master Sgt. Lavigne dedicated himself to the Army for 19 years and deployed multiple times in the defense of our Nation. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”
The investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time, according to the release.
Officials at Bragg did not release the causes of death or any other details about what happened. A statement from the North Carolina post said the bodies of two men were found on Wednesday in a training area and that their deaths are not related to official unit training.
Lavigne enlisted in the Army in 2001. In 2007, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was subsequently assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group with a follow on assignment to USASOC. He deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism while assigned to USASOC.
Lavigne’s awards and decorations include two Bronze Stars, one with “V” device.
Dumas served in the Army as a property accounting technician from November 1996 to March 2016 according to Hewitt. He deployed to Afghanistan four times, from March 2003 to June 2003, from April 2005 to August 2005, from April 2007 to November 2007 and from May 2008 to February 2009. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal.
In March, 2018, Lavigne shot and killed a Green Beret during an altercation that was ruled justifiable homicide, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
On March 21, 2018, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar, 33, was killed by Lavigne at a residence in Fayetteville, North Carolina, according to a police report. The case was ruled justifiable homicide, according to the report, which offered scant details other than a handgun was used.
Leshikar served with the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a weapons sergeant, according to his sister, Nicole Rick. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2015 and in 2017, he volunteered to deploy to Tajikistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Rick told Military Times her brother and Lavigne, who she said was a member of Delta force, had been friends since about 2012. The two men had young daughters who were best friends, Rick said.
Rick said Leshikar and Lavigne arrived home from a family vacation for her niece’s birthday and there was some sort of altercation.
“William shot and killed my brother in front of my niece,” she said. “William had called me a month after my brother died to tell me his story, and he said my brother came at him with a screwdriver but there was not one found near my brother’s body or in the house.”
This is a developing story. Stay with Army Times for updates.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.