Deputy Sheriff John E. Rafter

Deputy Sheriff John E. Rafter

Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Monday, February 7, 1983

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John E. Rafter

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.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 214

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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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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