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Deputy Sheriff John E. Rafter | Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, Virginia Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

Deputy Sheriff

John E. Rafter

Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch: Monday, February 7, 1983

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28

Tour: 6 years

Badge # 214

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Not available

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Deputy Rafter was shot and killed after he became overpowered by a prisoner he was transporting to the Augusta County Jail, Virginia.

Deputy Rafter had stopped to assist a disabled motorist on the exit ramp from I-81 to the city of Staunton when the prisoner overpowered him and gained control of his .357 caliber service revolver. The suspect shot Deputy Rafter as they struggled in the front seat of the patrol car.

The suspect was convicted of murdering Deputy Rafter and sent to prison.

Deputy Rafter had served with the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office for 6 years. He was survived by his wife, parents, brother, and sister.

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I knew John in 1977 I resigned from RCSD. I wore the badge of # 214. It breaks my heart to hear of his death. I counted John as a real friend. Rest in peace John.

Sam Petry
Good friends
March 17, 2015


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