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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 1, 2002

Wife charged in fifth slaying at Fort Bragg

Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The wife of an Army Special Operations officer has been charged in his shooting death and police sought to arrest a teenager, in the latest in a string of domestic violence cases that have shaken Fort Bragg.

An Army chaplain leads Joan Shannon from her home in Fayetteville, N.C., where her husband was found slain.

Associated Press

Joan Shannon, 35, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the July 23 shooting of Maj. David Shannon, 40.

"We believe financial gain is one of the primary motives of the crime," said police Lt. Tom Guilette. He did not elaborate.

Police issued a petition charging a 15-year-old in the slaying. The teen had not been arrested by early yesterday, police Sgt. Alex Thompson said. The juvenile's identity was not disclosed.

David Shannon's slaying is the fifth domestic-related slaying linked to the base since June 11. Four Fort Bragg wives have been killed, allegedly by their husbands, and Fort Bragg officials say they are looking at the cases to determine if the stress of military life was a contributing factor.

In the Shannon slaying, three of his four children and a teenage friend were at home when the soldier was shot in the chest and head as he slept, police said.

Joan Shannon told police she awoke to gunshots about 3 a.m., saw an intruder and followed him from the bedroom down a hallway. She was unable to give police a description.

Thompson said the alleged financial gain involved military and insurance money. He did not give an amount.

Police arrested Joan Shannon based on evidence at the scene and "admissions and omissions that were given" during the investigation, Thompson said.

David Shannon had served in the Army since 1987 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He had been at Fort Bragg two years. The family lived off the base.

His wife worked for about a year as a loan receptionist at the Fort Bragg Credit Union, said her supervisor, Mae Davis. Davis said workers there raised about $500 for her and her family after her husband's death.