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Across several states, fragments of Page’s life emerged Monday in public records and interviews.

He joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992 and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become an Army psychological operations specialist in a battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.

In “psy-ops,” Page would have trained to host public meetings between locals and American forces, use leaflet campaigns in a conflict zone or use loudspeakers to communicate with enemy soldiers.

He never deployed overseas in that role, Army spokesman George Wright said.

Page was demoted in June 1998 for getting drunk on duty and going AWOL, two defense officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information about the gunman.

Page also received extra duty and was fined. The defense officials said they had no other details about the incident, such as how long Page was gone or whether he turned himself in. He was discharged later that same year.

Page bought a brick ranch house outside Fayetteville, N.C., in 2007 with help from a Veterans Affairs mortgage. But on Monday the home was boarded up with knee-high weeds in the yard. A notice taped to the front indicated the home was in foreclosure and had been sold to a bank in January.

Before buying the home, Page lived with Army soldier Darren Shearlock, his wife and young children in a doublewide trailer in a rural community near Fort Bragg, records show.

Shearlock, dressed in his military fatigues, declined to comment about Page or the shooting when approached Monday by The Associated Press.

Page’s former stepmother said she was devastated to learn of the bloodshed.

“He was a precious little boy, and that’s what my mind keeps going back to,” said Laura Page, of Denver, who was divorced from Page’s father around 2001.

In Wisconsin, Page responded to a recent online ad seeking a roommate in Cudahy, a small city outside Milwaukee.

He rented a room in Kurt Weins’ house in June, telling Weins he had recently broken up with his girlfriend and needed a place to stay.

Weins said Page stayed in that room all the time, declining invitations to watch TV with him. Page explained that he wanted to bring some belongings out of storage, so he rented an apartment several weeks later in a duplex owned by Weins across the street.

“We talked, but it was really about nothing,” Weins said. “He seemed pretty calm. He didn’t seem like the type to raise his voice.”

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