Deputy Sheriff James David "JD" Paugh

Deputy Sheriff James David "JD" Paugh

Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Sunday, October 23, 2011

Add to My Heroes

James David "JD" Paugh

Deputy Sheriff JD Paugh was shot and killed after stopping behind a vehicle on the side of I-520, near Gordon Highway, at approximately 1:20 am.

Deputy Paugh had just gotten off duty and was driving his department motor unit home when he observed a vehicle on the side of the highway. Possibly believing it was disabled, he started to stop his motorcycle behind it. Before he was able to put his kickstand down, a male occupant of the vehicle opened fire with an M4 rifle. Deputy Paugh returned fire three times, wounding the subject in the arm, before his service weapon was struck by a round and disabled.

The subject fired over over 30 rounds at Deputy Paugh, striking him at least nine times. The man then committed suicide before responding units arrived at the scene.

It is believed that the male occupant and his girlfriend were engaged in a domestic dispute at the time Deputy Paugh observed the vehicle and stopped.

Deputy Paugh had served with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office for 17 years. He is survived by his two sons, parents, and three brothers.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge T-31

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

View all 379 Reflections

Deputy Paugh had pulled me over about six months before this. I had worked overnight at the JMS BURN CENTER, at DOCTOR’s HOSPITAL. We had a real busy night and it was about 9 AM when I clocked out. That made a 14 hour night. I had also ran an errand for my wife and I had turned onto Gordon Highway from Dyes Parkway. The closest way home was to go through Fort Gordon. But I was carrying conceal in my truck, and so I couldn’t go on post. I wasn’t paying attention, and accelerated to about 75 miles an hour. Then there he was with his Police Motorcycle pointed right at me. I slowed down, but it was too late. He had me. Pulled me over and approached the vehicle. License and registration please, any fire arms. Gave him my license and registration, said yes to firearms then said I’m getting it and showing it and gave him my permit to carry card. Unloaded my Glock and showed him. Then he noticed the 82nd Airborne sticker on my back window. He said”is this your 201 File.” I said not exactly Sir. I was in 6 PSYOP, JFK CENTER FOR MILITARY ASSISTANCE, 3RD ARMORED DIVISION, PUSHED TROOPS AT FORT SAM HOUSTON, AND A COMBAT MEDIC INSTRUCTOR. PLUS 1/508 PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT. He asked why I was going so fast, explained I was tired, and lost attention Sir. He he understood and was in also. He said this is a verbal warning. I said I really appreciate that Sir. DEPUTY PAUGH WAS A GOOD PERSON, AND A CREDIT TO HIMSELF, THIS COUNTY, AND HIS COUNTRY. GOD BLESS YOU SIR. I KNOW YOU ARE AT GOD’S SIDE.


March 22, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.