Death certificate confirms veteran found at Fort Bragg training area died of gunshot wounds

By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer | Published: December 22, 2020

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Death records indicate one of the men whose bodies were found at Fort Bragg earlier this month died of gunshot wounds.

The bodies of Timothy J. Dumas, 44, and Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, were found near a Fort Bragg training area Dec. 2.

A death certificate for Dumas shows he was found in the woods near Manchester Road and died from gunshot wounds to the chest and head.

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as a homicide and that Dumas was "shot by (an) unknown person."

As of Monday, a death certificate for Lavigne was not on file in Cumberland County.

The Army Criminal Investigation Command had not released any public information about the deaths as of Monday.

"The investigation is ongoing," said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the command, on Monday.

Army officials said Dumas served in the Army as a property accounting technician from November 1996 to March 2016, separating as a chief warrant officer 3.

His records show he deployed to Afghanistan in 2003, 2005, 2007 and between 2008 and 2009.

His awards include a Bronze Star Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal four times; Army Achievement Medal four times, Army Good Conduct Medal three times; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 4 campaign stars; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Parachutist Badge; and Driver and Mechanic Badge.

Court records show Lavigne and Dumas were supposed to appear in court for unrelated cases in December and January.

Lavigne was supposed to appear in Cumberland County District Court on Jan. 15 for a Feb. 17 hit-and-run charge, according to court documents.

Dumas was supposed to appear in Forsyth County District Court on Dec. 17 for charges of breaking and entering, communicating threats and impersonating a law enforcement officer, according to court documents.

Records also show Lavigne was involved in other Cumberland County cases that never resulted in charges.

On March 21, 2018, Lavigne shot to death Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office investigated and ruled the slaying as "justifiable homicide."

After releasing news of his death, Lavigne's unit focused on his military service, which included multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism while assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

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