Updated:COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A Coweta County man is among six American soldiers, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., killed by a rogue Afghan policeman.
The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent to have an opportunity to kill foreigners.
Coweta Soldier Killed In Afghanistan
The gunman was killed in the shootout in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.
The bodies of the soldiers, who were members of the 101st Airborne Division, were returned Wednesday night to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
The Pentagon has identified the local soldier as Pfc. Austin G. Staggs, 19, of Senoia.
Staggs arrived in Afghanistan only a few months ago.
He leaves behind his wife, parents, a brother, two sisters and a son.
Childhood friend, Tyler Owens, said Staggs knew the dangers of war, but had his own way of coping.
"He wasn't the type to show much fear. He always tried to seem like he was tougher than he was, but he tried not to show any fear, just to help him get through it," Owens told Channel 2's Diana Davis.
Family members said Staggs hoped to become a police officer after serving in the Army. He would have been home on leave next month to celebrate his 20th birthday. With his hometown decked for the holidays, the Staggs family is facing the most painful moments of their lives.
Staggs will be laid to rest in Texas in a few days.