Entries in National Guardsmen (2)


Police: National Guardsman Kills Deputy in Georgia, Then Self

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(AUGUSTA, Ga.) -- A National Guardsman who had been firing at passing cars on an Augusta, Ga., road early Sunday morning, killed a sheriff’s deputy before taking his own life, police said.

Christopher Michael Hodges, 26, appeared to be drunk and had been fighting with his girlfriend when he fired 35 rounds from an M4 semiautomatic rifle around 1 a.m. Sunday, killing Deputy James D. Paugh, 47, who was off duty but had stopped to investigate a suspicious car parked in a grassy area off Bobby Jones Expressway, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said in a statement.

“He pulled over his motorcycle and didn’t even get to put the kickstand down before the suspect began firing on him,” Strength said.

Paugh’s gun was fired twice, but police said Hodges killed himself with his own gun.

An official at Fort Gordon National Guard base said very little was known about Hodges.

“He’s been here several months,”  Fort Gordon public relations officer James Hudgins told ABC News.  “[He was] a member of the Tennessee National Guard.  He was assigned here as a trainee.  He had only been here a few months so that’s all we really know at this time.”

Hodges’ girlfriend was being held by police for questioning.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Suicides Still a Problem for US Army

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Army statistics to be released Wednesday will show the first annual decrease in suicides among active duty soldiers in six years.  But the news is tempered by a significant increase in the number of suicides among Army reservists and National Guardsmen who are not on active duty.

Without providing specific numbers, Army officials told ABC News that the number of suicides among active duty soldiers for calendar year 2010 will be less than 2009's record high of 162.  Through November 2010, 144 active duty suicides had already been recorded -- National Guardsmen and Army reservists mobilized to active duty are included in this number.

But a tough year was made even tougher by the sharp increase in 2010 in the number of suicides among National Guardsmen and Army reservists not on active duty.

The Army keeps a separate record of suicides among Army reservists and National Guardsmen who have not been mobilized and are not on active duty.  Through November 2010, there were 122 suicides among these citizen soldiers.  That's a significant increase over the 82 suicides among this group in 2009.

Taken together, the 266 total Army suicides through November 2010 is already higher than the 244 suicides for all of 2009.

The increase has been of mounting concern to senior Army officials who worry about the access to mental health professionals these reservists may not have in the civilian sector.  Reducing the number of suicides within the ranks is a top priority for the Army, but there are no easy answers as to what might lead a soldier to turn to suicide.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio