Master Sgt. William Lavigne II’s body was one of two found on the North Carolina Army base on December 2
The remains of US Army veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, were also recovered nearby
The two men were found dead in a remote part of the training area at the Fort Bragg base, as early investigations suggest “foul play”
In March 2018, Lavigne, 37, shot and killed a Green Beret and longtime friend, Sgt. Mark Daniel Leshikar, 33, during a fight at Lavigne’s home
The victim’s 5-year-old daughter was present at the shooting
Lavigne wasn’t charged after claiming his friend Leshikar, an Afghanistan and Tajikistan vet, attacked him with a screwdriver
Lavigne avoided charges after civilian authorities determined he acted in self-defense
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office officials ultimately ruled Leshikar’s death a result of justifiable homicide
Mark Leshikar’s family dispute the ruling, claiming that Lavigne shot Leshikar dead during a heated argument
The death of a Special Forces soldier whose body was found next to an Army vet at Fort Bragg last week, “killed a Green Beret in front of his five-year-old daughter in 2018,” the victim’s family says.
Master Sgt. William Lavigne II’s body was found on the North Carolina base on December 2, and the remains of US Army veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, were recovered nearby.
The two men were found dead at the Fort Bragg base training area, as early investigations suggest “foul play”.
The deaths of Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II and Army veteran Timothy Dumas of Pinehurst, have stirred up talk of a fatal shooting in March 2018 in which Lavigne shot and killed a Green Beret and longtime friend, Mark Leshikar, during a fight at Lavigne’s home.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Daniel Leshikar, 33, was killed March 21, 2018, in Fayetteville, NC.
Leshikar, who was also stationed at Fort Bragg, was a weapons sergeant with the 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne.
Lavigne avoided charges after civilian authorities determined he acted in self-defense. Leshikar’s sister, Nicole Rick, told the Army Times that her brother and Lavigne had been close friends since about 2012. Their daughters were best friends.
The two families had just returned from a trip to Florida to celebrate Leshikar’s daughter’s birthday when the two men got into a fight.
“William shot and killed my brother in front of my niece,” Rick 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.”
Force Operator Lavigne wasn’t charged after claiming his friend Leshikar, an Afghanistan and Tajikistan vet, attacked him with a screwdriver. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office officials ultimately ruled Leshikar’s death a result of justifiable homicide.
His family disputes that ruling – Mark Leshikar’s family have now claimed that Lavigne, 37, shot Leshikar dead during a heated argument.
Fort Bragg confirmed that foul play is suspected and a homicide probe is underway
They argued in Lavigne’s driveway as Leshikar was working on his car and though it’s not clear what their fight was about, Lavigne recalled how he ran inside, locking in himself and their daughters on March 21, 2018.
Leshikar’s family told Connecting Vets that his daughter, five, said that when she opened the door, he “was mad and walking towards uncle Billy and uncle Billy came around and shot him, and then my daddy did this.”
“He kept shooting. I looked at my daddy’s face and I knew he was gone,” she allegedly said – but her relatives revealed that she only began to open up after Lavigne’s death because she was terrified he would kill her mom.
“My granddaughter was so relieved that he was dead that she was crying,” said Leshikar’s mother, Tammy Mabey.
Initially, Lavigne told police Leshikar had killed himself – but later, he said he couldn’t have seen Leshikar’s hands to see what he was holding, reported Connecting Vets.
A Defense Department memorandum noted that Lavigne wasn’t credible but Leshikar’s death was in the line of duty, while the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office described it as “justifiable homicide.”
Leshikar’s family has alleged evidence was tampered with and that Lavigne called another Delta Force Operator to come to the scene.
The friend allegedly took Leshikar’s phone but he only returned it to his wife Laura days later and claimed he found it in her husband’s car.
Leshikar’s sister Nicole Rick said that Lavigne and Leshikar were best friends but would argue and would allegedly take cocaine.
At Fort Bragg, Leshikar worked a desk job after a traumatic brain injury, which happened after an improvised explosive device exploded near him.
He was addicted to Tramadol and self-medicated with Valium, his family said.
They had been to Disney World in Florida with their families between March 15 and 19, 2018 – but Lavigne said Leshikar acted strangely during the car ride back to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
He told cops his friend was “paranoid’ they were being followed but his wife Laura said Leshikar appeared was acting normal.
Leshikar’s body was riddled with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and neck inside Lavigne’s house and four .45-caliber shell casing were found at the scene.
Lavigne said that he shot Leshikar who had come at him with a screwdriver, but the medical examiner’s report and the memorandum revealed further inconsistencies.
“No screwdriver or any weapon was found near SFC Leshikar’s body,” the memo stated. “[Lavigne] never stated or implied that he moved the screwdriver or any weapon after shooting SFC Leshikar.”
The report further states that Leshikar was “acting in a menacing manner, but he could not see SFC’s Leshikar’s hands” after cops found the screwdriver outside by Leshikar’s car.
Lavigne’s career in special operations command continued after cops ruled the death justifiable and a 1st Special Forces Command investigation concluded that Leshikar died in the line of duty.
An Army Criminal Investigation Command probe also deemed the death justifiable.
The 172,000-acre Fort Bragg base is one of the world’s largest military complexes with approximately 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family member