Mansfield resident Joseph Griffin, 49, was killed on Christmas Eve in Kabul, Afghanistan by a policewoman who reportedly shot him when she decided her plans to kill the governor, police chief or an investigator would be too difficult.
Griffin once worked as a deputy with the Newton County Sheriff's Office, first from 1996 until 2000 and again in 2007. He was in Afghanistan as a military veteran advising the Afghan National Police when he was murdered by the policewoman, identified as Sgt. Nargas, a mother of four in her early 30s who joined the police force five years ago and had a clean record, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also reported that Nargas walked into the heavily guarded compound, confronted Griffin and shot him once with her pistol. Police General Mohammad Zahir, an investigator in the case, said at a news conference that Nargas "had plans to kill the governor, the city police chief or Zahir himself, but when she realized penetrating the last security cordons to reach them would be too difficult, she saw ‘a foreigner' and turned her weapon on him."
According to a press release from DynCorp International, the company Griffin was contracting through, Griffin had worked in several of the company's global training and mentoring programs since 2000 and began his most recent assignment in July 2011. He had worked in Kosovo, Liberia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Joe spent his career helping people all over the world, most recently working to help the Afghan people secure a better future," said Steve Gaffney, chairman and CEO of DynCorp International. "The loss of any team member is tragic but to have this happen over the holidays makes it seem all the more unfair. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe's family, loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time."
According to NCSO Public Information Officer Cortney Morrison, "The Newton County Sheriff's Office is deeply saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with the family."
The NCSO is organizing a police escort from Atlanta to Covington when Griffin's body returns home, likely after the New Year.
Griffin's wife Charlene said Thursday that she was not prepared to speak about her husband at this time.