Combat vet charged after firing shots after hearing fireworks: “I was freaking out, like I was back in Afghanistan”

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WAUKESHA COUNTY — A combat veteran is facing three misdemeanor charges after he apparently became scared after hearing fireworks last Friday night, June 24th — and fired shots into the air near his home.

Gregory Habersat

Gregory Habersat

30-year-old Gregory Habersat of Waukesha faces the following misdemeanor charges:

  • Possession of a firearm while intoxicated
  • Pointing a firearm at another
  • Discharging a firearm within 100 yards of a building

Waukesha police on Friday night, June 24th were dispatched to the area near Newhall and West for a report of an intoxicated individual who had fired several rounds from a rifle into the air near an apartment building surrounded by homes.

Officers learned the individual was an ex-combat veteran suffering from PTSD.

A criminal complaint indicates there were fireworks going off in the area, and Habersat became scared — grabbing his rifle and ammunition and heading outside.

The complaint indicates Habersat was drinking on Friday night, and when he heard the fireworks, he became “very agitated and scared” — and began looking around as if he were looking for people to come after him.

Habersat stated: “Why do they always do this,” the complaint says.

Police found Habersat lying under his truck. A rifle was located near him, along with six spent .30-06 shell casings.

Habersat was taken into custody. A preliminary breath test revealed a result of .15.

The complaint indicates Habersat stated: “I think I fired like, five shots in the air. I was freaking out, like I was back in Afghanistan.”

Habersat said when he heard the fireworks, “everything went downhill.” He stated that he “did not want to hurt anyone.”

Habersat made his initial appearance in court in this case on June 27th.

A $5,000 signature bond was set, and a hearing was scheduled for July 13th.