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Posted: 8/3/2005 10:43:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 12:45:49 PM EDT by TexasEd]
www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2005/Aug-02-Tue-2005/news/26983251.html

When Matthew Sepi returned from Iraq a few months ago, he spoke to his family reluctantly of gunbattles and the "weird noises" children make when they die. He never told relatives whether he killed anyone during combat but said he recently had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had been placed on a waiting list for treatment.

To help shield his psyche from images of bodies, family members said, the 20-year-old soldier had adopted a simple technique: Just don't think about it.

But early Sunday morning, Army Spc. Sepi found himself thinking about killing in front of homicide detectives. They interrogated Sepi about a double shooting in a neighborhood near Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

Based on Sepi's version of events, a 1 a.m. walk to a 7-Eleven proved nearly as dangerous as his tour of duty in Iraq.

According to an arrest report filed in Clark County District Court, Sepi told investigators he dressed in a black coat, tucked an assault rifle under his arm and left his apartment for a beer run.

As the 120-pound Sepi journeyed on foot and passed through a dark alley, a man and woman confronted him and yelled for him to leave the alley, police said in the report.

Sepi said the man, identified by authorities as 26-year-old Kevin Ratcliff, produced an object that he thought to be a gun and opened fire.

"(Sepi) explained that he had been trained in the military that in a situation in which he was ambushed, he was to engage the targets and retreat from the area," police wrote in the report. "He felt that the situation in the alley was an ambush, and he reacted the way he had been trained."

Sepi recalled firing four shots. Sharon Jackson, 47, fell to the ground and died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Ratcliff was hit by gunfire and was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive.

Sepi, meanwhile, had fled the shooting scene and returned to his apartment to grab more ammunition, police said. Minutes later, a police officer pulled over the infantry specialist's Oldsmobile sedan and noticed an assault rifle inside.

Sepi, an American Indian who hails from Winslow, Ariz., was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of one count of murder and attempted murder.

Some evidence might lend credence to Sepi's self-defense story.

"We do know the victim's boyfriend (Ratcliff) got off a few rounds as well," police Lt. Tom Monahan said.

Police said they recovered a 9 mm pistol and three spent 9 mm casings at the crime scene.

Police are investigating Sepi's story that someone had pulled a knife on him, while he was unarmed, the day before the shooting.

Sepi's mother, Nora, said she had noticed changes in her son since he tried to move back to civilian life.

She said he seldom spoke of his combat but mentioned that he participated in gunbattles. But when an enemy was hit, Sepi and his fellow soldiers had a difficult time in telling precisely who had shot him.

"He said you can't tell when you're shooting from afar who killed who," Nora Sepi said.

Nora Sepi said her son, who served in the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, had contacted Veterans Affairs for help with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Veterans Affairs defines PTSD as a psychiatric disorder that can induce flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms in survivors of life-threatening episodes. The agency's Web site estimates that about 30 percent of people who spend time in war zones will suffer from the disorder.

Matthew Sepi told his mother he had requested treatment from the agency.

"He said it was going to take a while," Nora Sepi said. "He's not getting anything right now."

Veterans Affairs officials at the agency's regional office in Reno would not respond to questions about the disorder.

When questions were posed to the Army Reserve's 113th Medical Company, Combat Stress Control, in Stanton, Calif., an official deferred to a VA Web site.

But a local veteran of the Vietnam and Korean wars who has been diagnosed with PTSD said the effects are usually delayed.

"It just depends on what triggers it. If someone took a shot at me, I'm afraid I'd shoot back too," said Chad Avery, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 17.

"It's just a reaction after a while," said Avery, a former veterans center counselor.

"God knows if you get shot at enough, it just becomes instinct," he said.

Avery said PTSD is treated by talking about the problem in individual or group sessions. Some veterans who see psychiatrists are offered anti-depressant medication to deal with the disorder.

Sepi's military mind-set is alluded to in the arrest report.

The young man used military jargon to describe his actions in the alley, calling his shoot-and-retreat strategy "breaking contact."

Police did not mention anything about PTSD in their report but indicated that Sepi became visibly upset while speaking about Sunday's shooting and his military duties in Iraq.

"He has been very nervous since returning from Iraq," a police officer wrote in the arrest report. "While working day labor, he heard a pallet fall to the ground, and was so bothered by it, he could not function for an hour."

Army officials were reviewing Sepi's personnel records Monday. A human resources official in St. Louis said Sepi was honorably discharged sometime in May and was completing his Individual Ready Reserve obligation.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:45:07 AM EDT
Damn!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:48:48 AM EDT
I've walked in his shoes.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:55:28 AM EDT
Poor guy. He lived through that shit over there only to come home and be confronted with more shit. If his story is indeed true (I have no reason to believe it isn't), then I hope he is not indicted on anything.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:57:33 AM EDT
Damn, just damn.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:59:29 AM EDT



Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:59:48 AM EDT
What do you do in this case?

I'd like to know what kind of assault rifle he was carrying. Was it a pistol or an AR15?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:01:59 AM EDT


Some evidence might lend credence to Sepi's self-defense story.

"We do know the victim's boyfriend (Ratcliff) got off a few rounds as well," police Lt. Tom Monahan said.

Police said they recovered a 9 mm pistol and three spent 9 mm casings at the crime scene.



Well it's good to know that the fact the "victim" in the alley just happened to have a gun, and shot it three times, may lend credence to the idea he felt threatened.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:02:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:03:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
What do you do in this case?

I'd like to know what kind of assault rifle he was carrying. Was it a pistol or an AR15?



If it was small enough to tuck underneath a coat, it had to have at least been a folding stock model of some sort. But considering how badly the media screws up gun reports, it could have very well been some sort of pistol.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:03:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
What do you do in this case?



Don't bring a pistol to an Assault Weapon fight!!!!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:04:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:05:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
What do you do in this case?

I'd like to know what kind of assault rifle he was carrying. Was it a pistol or an AR15?



If it was small enough to tuck underneath a coat, it had to have at least been a folding stock model of some sort. But considering how badly the media screws up gun reports, it could have very well been some sort of pistol.



Really it says the weapon was under his arm though. It might have been outside the coat.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:05:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:09:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 11:09:25 AM EDT by TexasEd]
Moral: Don't fuck with uncle Matt when he's been drinking.

(Sorry, punch line to an old joke)
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:10:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
What do you do in this case?

I'd like to know what kind of assault rifle he was carrying. Was it a pistol or an AR15?



If it was small enough to tuck underneath a coat, it had to have at least been a folding stock model of some sort. But considering how badly the media screws up gun reports, it could have very well been some sort of pistol.



Really it says the weapon was under his arm though. It might have been outside the coat.



I'm guessing, by what the story didn't and did say, that he tucked it under his arm to carry it to his car, which is where the cops found it when they pulled him over after the shooting
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:11:02 AM EDT
"Assault rifle"? The details are kinda foggy here.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:11:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 12:28:01 PM EDT by _DR]
Just "On the List" for PTSD treatment. Maybe the politicians need to take a cut in their fat paychecks and hire a few more shrinks so our boys can get what they need.

Don't you love how our government takes care of it's soldiers after they serve honorably?
Should not be sent home until he has already had treatment, for what that's worth.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:12:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By osprey21:
I've walked in his shoes.



+1
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:16:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ChrisLe:

Originally Posted By osprey21:
I've walked in his shoes.



+1




+2

I'll add this, when I first came home from Lebanon. I was at my parents house. One evening a Primer shack at Federal Cartridge blew up and insticts took over, all I thoght of was incoming mortar rounds
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:17:06 AM EDT

Think the fact that he was carrying the rifle will lead to a 'premeditation' charge of some sort?

I tell you what, I'm a pretty paranoid guy, but I've never carried a rifle under my coat to the local liquor store.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:21:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Think the fact that he was carrying the rifle will lead to a 'premeditation' charge of some sort?

I tell you what, I'm a pretty paranoid guy, but I've never carried a rifle under my coat to the local liquor store.



It never said under his coat. Read it again.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:23:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Think the fact that he was carrying the rifle will lead to a 'premeditation' charge of some sort?

I tell you what, I'm a pretty paranoid guy, but I've never carried a rifle under my coat to the local liquor store.




I wondered about that. I really think it depends on the DA.
Bringing charges down on a vet with PTSD couldn't be a very good political move.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:26:12 AM EDT
very strange.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:37:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Think the fact that he was carrying the rifle will lead to a 'premeditation' charge of some sort?

I tell you what, I'm a pretty paranoid guy, but I've never carried a rifle under my coat to the local liquor store.




He did say he was threatened with a knife previously in that area. Maybe he just felt that was what he needed to take a walk in his neighborhood(in which case some will say he should have just called it a night). Maybe he was going back to finish something that was started earlier. I don't know, there aren't many details. I wouldn't know anything about PTSD, I've never even been in a fistfight let alone a firefight.

ot, did they say he was 120lb??
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:42:23 AM EDT
Lesson: don't try mugging a combat veteran who's carrying a rifle.

for Spc Sepi, he has a hard road ahead I fear.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:46:43 AM EDT
am curious - could the media actually be reporting the right term for once? was it an assault rifle or just another semi automatic clone?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 11:48:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:01:51 PM EDT
this shit does not pass the smell test.


Matthew Sepi Army veteran carried assault rifle on a beer run to a 7-Eleven WTF!!!



say it's 1:00 AM and you and your GF are going back to her place. you park in the alley behind the house. you have your pistol with you and all of a sudden your "confronted" by a guy dressed in a black coat (remember it's july in Arazona) and an assualt weapon. you tell him to "back off!" and "don't come any closer".
instead of turning around or backing up he begins to raise the weapon from hiding it behind his arm to more of an aggressive form of carry. you don't feel safe anymore so you draw your pistol and order him again to back off. both parties fire.

at best it sounds like a misunderstanding to me.


why the fuck did he shoot the girl?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:05:57 PM EDT
Tow things jump out at me.

One, the black garb and AR for a beer run?

Second, the beer run itself.

He's 20, right?

Who's selling beer to him?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:08:32 PM EDT
The thing I don't buy about this story is the part of his statement where -

"(Sepi) explained that he had been trained in the military that in a situation in which he was ambushed, he was to engage the targets and retreat from the area," police wrote in the report. "He felt that the situation in the alley was an ambush, and he reacted the way he had been trained."

What jacked up infantry unit trains you to break contact when being ambushed. You return fire and assult through the ambush. This is what he did, and after he gained fire supperiority (by taking out the chich and wounding the dude) he decided to break contact. To me this all would be fine if he stated that fact, but if he is saying he is trained to retreat from an ambush, it makes me question the rest of his side of the story.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:10:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 12:12:29 PM EDT by hk940]
it says he was walking to the store and he went back to his house for more ammo
why if your on your way to the house to get more ammo do you drop off the rifle in your car?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:19:54 PM EDT
Sounds like he had already had a few beers -- but he did the right thing in shooting the guy, anyway. I don't know why he shot the girl, either.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:23:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
"Assault rifle"? The details are kinda foggy here.



Probably a 10/22 or an SKS.

Ben
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:24:50 PM EDT
Maybe he had an "assault rifle" (probably a mini 14) because he is 20 and therefore does not meet the minimum arbitrary age assigned to most united states citizens for which they can
1) buy a pistol
2) have a ccw
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:30:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
Sounds like he had already had a few beers -- but he did the right thing in shooting the guy, anyway. I don't know why he shot the girl, either.



how do you know that?
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:36:03 PM EDT
Is he actually in AZ? There are some states where you can buy beer, you just cannot drink it so this might be the case . . . for some reason I got Nevada stuck in my head, but it only mentions where he is from (Winslow, AZ) but not where he is . . .

And if he was living in the Flagstaff area, then he just might put a coat on to go down to 7-eleven at 1 am. Those desert areas can get quite frigid overnight.

As for shooting the girl . . . stand with the wolves and you will be called a wolf.

I would like to hear more of the story, though, before any judgement is made, one way or another.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:36:20 PM EDT
ok, probably having a brain fart - but what is a better term for a select fire rifle that shootes reduced recoil rifle ammunition (as apposed to a submachine gun that shoots pistol ammo or a main battle rifle that shoots rifle ammo). Calling it by name goes a long way for sure, but most people are even more comfused by ar-15 v m-16 or m-4. not to mention the various name for the semi auto clones of the ak family.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:37:47 PM EDT
Anyone remember the vet who had a shootout with the cops with an SKS? Some people cannot handle the things that happen over ther, and this is what happens
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:44:47 PM EDT
Found some more info at a different source

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0803sepi03.html

Vet held after shooting in alley leaves 1 dead

Judy Nichols
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 3, 2005 12:00 AM

A young veteran, formerly from Winslow, who returned from Iraq in May, opened fire with his assault rifle in a Las Vegas alley early Sunday morning, leaving a woman dead and a man wounded, according to police reports.

Matthew Sepi, 20, who says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is charged with murder and attempted murder, but attorneys say the charges may be reduced because of self-defense claims that the wounded man shot at Sepi first.

"It appears as though this is a legitimate self-defense case," said Sepi's attorney, Nancy Lemcke. "We will be exploring that together with some possible mental health issues largely related to his service in the military."
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According to an arrest report by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Sepi, who has been living in Las Vegas, carried his assault rifle inside a long black coat as he walked from his apartment to a 7-Eleven to buy beer about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

He told police he took the weapon because he had been threatened by a man with a knife in the alley the night before.

According to the report, Sepi said that as he walked through the alley, he was confronted by a man and woman who said something to him that he couldn't remember.

On his way back, after buying beer, he said the couple yelled at him to get out of their alley.

Sepi said that he saw the man holding what appeared to be a gun and that the man shot at him. Police recovered a 9mm pistol and spent casings at the scene.

Sepi said he shot back with his rifle and left.

When police arrested Sepi in his car, he asked, "Who did I take fire from?"

The report states that Sepi referred to his actions in the alley as "breaking contact."

"He explained that he had been trained in the military that in a situation in which he was ambushed, he was to engage the targets, and retreat from the area," the report states. "He felt that the situation in the alley was an ambush, and he reacted the way he had been trained."

Sepi told police that he was honorably discharged after serving a year in Iraq and that he had been in combat.

His mother, Nora Sepi, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Sepi had asked the military for help with PTSD.

Chris Owens of the Clark County District Attorney's Office, said the case has been continued for two weeks so he and Lemcke can discuss possible outcomes.

"Obviously we don't want to prosecute someone who is legitimately defending himself," Owens said. "We may go forward, we may dismiss, we may do some type of informal probation with counseling."

Owens said that at a court appearance on Tuesday, Sepi answered all the questions from the judge with, "Yes, sir."

Sepi remained in jail Tuesday.

Owens said he has seen hundreds of cases where defendants claim PTSD.

"Every one of them is different," he said, adding that the issue of self-defense will be more important in the case.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:49:49 PM EDT
If he was shot at first then I guess I can't call it wrong. He probably could have have done better by not leaving the scene. His choice of weapon that night should not be at issue. If it went down as he said I hope they let him walk.

"Note to badguys: Pistols are not advised when opponent has a rifle."
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 12:50:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
Sounds like he had already had a few beers -- but he did the right thing in shooting the guy, anyway. I don't know why he shot the girl, either.



how do you know that?



If the bad guy pulled a gun on him, then he did the right thing in defending himself. That's what I meant.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:00:01 PM EDT
One of the effects of a long tour in a combat zone, especially if you saw actual combat, is the overwelming desire to protect yourself at all times.

Very plausible story.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:06:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Poor guy. He lived through that shit over there only to come home and be confronted with more shit. If his story is indeed true (I have no reason to believe it isn't), then I hope he is not indicted on anything.


+10000000
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:12:44 PM EDT
He'll get manslaughter at the very least.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:14:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
One of the effects of a long tour in a combat zone, especially if you saw actual combat, is the overwelming desire to protect yourself at all times.

Very plausible story.



True. This is why VPC will be calling for confiscating arms from returning soldiers, especially if they suffer from PTSD. I wonder if PTSD qualifies you to be disqualified from ever owning firearms if you receive inpatient treatment or medication for it.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:21:07 PM EDT


......waiting to here more about this.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:31:27 PM EDT
I know the neighborhood well, stayed at Circus Circus would wake up before sunrise for a cup of that great 7-11 coffee, kinda deserted at night, lots of alleyways, some real live wierdos walking around at that hour, homeless mental cases and such. Growing up in NYC I walked like I owned the street, zigzagging, sometimes walking right straight towards some street urchin confusing them, maybe some guy with a coat and a longgun woulda deterred me and make me think twice about walking......
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:46:12 PM EDT
Damn. Just Damn.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 2:00:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:
Just "On the List" for PTSD treatment. Maybe the politicians need to take a cut in their fat paychecks and hire a few more shrinks so our boys can get what they need.

Don't you love how our government takes care of it's soldiers after they serve honorably?
Should not be sent home until he has already had treatment, for what that's worth.




+1000
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 2:02:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 2:03:14 PM EDT by Mauser101]

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
Sounds like he had already had a few beers -- but he did the right thing in shooting the guy, anyway. I don't know why he shot the girl, either.



how do you know that?



If the bad guy pulled a gun on him, then he did the right thing in defending himself. That's what I meant.



How do you even know the guy with the 9mm was even the bad guy? For all we know the vet was a class A turd and is using PTSD and Iraq as a cover for a murder he commited.

We can't tell shit from here.
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