Fort Bragg, N.C. — The Fort Bragg soldier suspected of opening fire and killing his battalion commander last week has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Army said Sunday.
A nursing supervisor at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center said Sunday that Spec. Ricky G. Elder, 27, of Hutchinson, Kan., died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Friday.
Military officials said that Elder opened fire Thursday during a safety briefing with the 525th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, killing its commander, Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale, 42, of Alvin, Texas. Elder then shot himself.
A third soldier, Spc. Michael E. Latham, 22, of Vacaville, Calif., suffered minor injuries and has been released from the hospital.
Elder was facing a court-martial for stealing a toolkit worth $1,700, military authorities said.
Tisdale graduated from Texas A&M University in 1993 and was commissioned as an infantry officer. He took command of the battalion in January 2012 when the battalion was activated.
Tisdale's previous assignments include 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Brigade and 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Ga.; 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment and the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La.; and 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment and the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, National Defense Service, Afghanistan Campaign, Iraq Campaign, Global War on Terrorism Service and NATO medals; the Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons; the Air Assault, Combat Infantryman, Expert Infantryman and Senior Parachutist badges; the Joint Military Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Citation.
Elder enlisted in the Army in 2004 and served with the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, Fort Richardson, Alaska, and the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., before being assigned to the 525th battalion in June 2010. He was deployed to Iraq from October 2006 to November 2007 and Afghanistan from September 2010 to July 2011.