Fort Bragg Soldier Wounded in ‘Firefight’ With Fayettville Police Was in a Flashback, Parents Say

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 Eisenhauer, Fort Bragg soldier had served two tours in Afghanistan

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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2 Responses

  1. Following this story closely…hoping and praying that Josh’s PTSD is addressed and recognized as a causal factor in this incident. By all accounts Josh was a good guy who was significantly affected by PTSD and who has now been charged with attempted murder because he had a flashback and acted on it. Of course it’s not excusable that this happened, but if he is convicted of attempted murder and serves time in prison for it, that isn’t going to make this situation any better. He needs to be somewhere that he can get the help he deserves. Step up, Army!

  2. Please help these soldiers who are injured. The military usually wants to dump them out dishonorably with no disability or veterans medical benefits after they were seriously injured in battle.

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