Parents of Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer Say Their Son Thought he was Shooting at Afghan Insurgents When he Fired at Police and Firefighters
By Greg Barnes
Fayettevile Observer, April 13, 2012
The father of a Fort Bragg soldier charged with shooting at Fayetteville police and firefighters from his apartment in January says his son suffered from war-induced mental problems and thought he was firing at Afghan insurgents.
Staff Sgt. Joshua “Ike” Eisenhauer, 30, was wounded by police, who returned fire in the four-hour standoff at Austin Creek apartments.
His father, Mark Eisenhauer, says that although he and his wife are uncertain of the events of Jan. 13, their son told them he was alone in his apartment about 10 p.m. when he awoke to the sound of people running up the front and back stairs of his third-floor apartment and then saw a small fire on his deck.
Joshua Eisenhauer flashed back “to combat in Afghanistan, fired on the ‘insurgents’ who were actually firemen and police officers and was seriously injured with gunshot wounds to his upper chest, right face and right thigh,” his father says.
Mark Eisenhauer described his conversations with his son in a letter to The Fayetteville Observer. Joshua Eisenhauer’s mother, Dawn D. Erickson, wrote a separate letter to the newspaper.
No police or firefighters suffered serious injuries in the exchange of gunfire. Joshua Eisenhauer was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he recovered from his wounds. He has been charged with 17 counts of attempted murder, nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and six counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.
At the hospital, Mark Eisenhauer wrote, a nurse in the intensive care unit told him that when his son regained some mental awareness, he mumbled “whose got the roof.” When asked what he thought had happened, Joshua Eisenhauer was said to have responded: “I was fighting insurgents.”
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Filed under: Resources Tagged: | Afghanistan, Army, Attempted Murder, Combat, Dawn D. Erickson, Deployment, Fayetteville Police, Firefight, Flashback, Infantry, Mark Eisenhauer, Mental Health, Military, PTSD, Shootout, Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, Veterans, War