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Friends, family say goodbye to Paulding Co. deputy | News

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Friends, family say goodbye to Paulding Co. deputy
Friends, family say goodbye to Paulding Co. deputy

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. -- Family and friends said goodbye Monday to a Paulding County Sheriff's deputy killed in an apparent murder-suicide.

Authorities say that Cpl. Sam Driskell his wife and his daughter were shot and killed by Driskell's stepson, Felix, who then took his own life. The bodies were found on Jan. 6.

Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge said he knew Driskell since the seventh grade. He said the loss is both professional and deeply personal.

"Our agency has a hole in its heart that I don't know can ever be healed," Gulledge said. "Sam done a job for us and I don't think he can be replaced. We have no choice but continue his job, but replacing Sam will never happen."

A 20-year Army veteran, Driskell was buried with full military honors. At the gravesite, Driskell's father clutched the American flag given to him as a token of his son's service.

"There's something to be said about a career military man. That's what Sam was," said Paulding County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Ashley Henson. "He was a drill sergeant. He ended his career at a sergeant first class E-7. And shortly thereafter, he came to work for the sheriff's office."

When the fog of grief finally lifts, those closest to Driskell say they hope he will be remembered for a life of exemplary service rather than the senseless tragedy of his death.

"This whole county will mourn for his loss, and our agency will never be the same without him," Gulledge said.