Husband charged in wife's murder says he 'snapped'

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PHOENIX -- An Ahwatukee man charged with murdering his wife told police that he "snapped and his military training kicked in" in the moments before he shot her.

Anthony Rinaldi, 26, is charged with the first-degree murder of his wife, Amanda Blaies-Rinaldi.

Police say he shot and killed her in the garage of their home on Tuesday night.

The couple's two young children were inside at the time, and the 7-year-old boy had called 911 to report his parents were fighting when the shots were fired.

Rinaldi, who was an officer with the Department of Corrections, fled the home but called 911 to report that he'd shot his wife, and then turned himself in to a Department of Public Safety officer minutes later near 16th Street and Interstate 10.

According to court records, Rinaldi said he just "flipped."

Those records say Rinaldi had a history of domestic violence and also struggled with post traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues.

Rinaldi is a retired Army sergeant and has completed at least one tour of duty to Iraq. Members of his infantry say they believe PTSD may have played a role in the violent tragedy.

"A lot of us were traumatized, about 90 percent of the unit was diagnosed with PTSD when we got back," said Specialist Michael Kick, who served with Rinaldi and kept in touch with him after they returned in late 2009.

"It's very hard to hear that another soldier, another brother, would do something like that to harm someone else," Kick  said.

Psychologists say studies have shown there is a link between PTSD and domestic violence.

"Troops, when they're fighting overseas, often just long to be with their families and then they get home and the very people they've been longing to see, they have a hard time getting along with," said Dr. Leslie Trefler, the chief of psychology at the Veteran Affairs hospital in Phoenix.

The VA offers mental health services to all veterans and also has a 24-hour crisis hotline.

For more information visit their website.