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Second Georgia man among dead in Afghanistan suicide bombing

Channel 2's Matt Johnson reports

A second Georgia contractor was among the dead in a recent suicide car bombing in Afghanistan that ended the life of a former Floyd County deputy sheriff, their employer said Monday.

Richard P. McEvoy, 57, of Peachtree City was a retired U.S. Army colonel, a press statement from DynCorp International said. The attack was believed to be the worst loss of American life in a single episode this year in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported.

McEvoy, Barry D. Sutton, 46, a longtime Floyd County law enforcement officer and former U.S. Marine, and Corey J. Dodge, 40, of Dexter, Maine were working for a program that trained and mentored Afghan national army and police when the bomber targeted their convoy Saturday.

Mr. McEvoy is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and children Michelle and Patrick.

Sutton, a former Floyd County deputy and police officer, worked the dangerous job to provide for his three daughters, Sheriff Tim Burkhalter said.

When the divorced father started at DynCorp in 2011, he was well aware he was putting himself in harm’s way. But Sutton felt that the much larger salary could bring his daughters Summer, Erin, and Kaitlin a brighter future.

“We talked about it many times—the risk of it, the rewards,” Burkhalter said. “But he wanted his daughters to have a whole lot better chance in life.”

Sutton doted on them, and he once won the title of “father of the year” from a local news outlet after being nominated by his daughters, said his best friend, Floyd County Police Major Tom Ewing.

“I remember he’d work third shift, getting off at 7 in morning. Then he’d coach one of his daughter’s soccer teams, go to a tournament, and have to try to take a nap at the couch here in the office 30 minutes before he got back into work,” Ewing said.

The Associated Press reported that at least 12 people died in the blast that killed Sutton.

The former senior deputy worked for the sheriff’s office from 2009 through 2011. He was a Floyd County police officer for more than 13 years prior to that. There, Sutton served as a member of the SWAT team, investigator with a local drug task force, supervisor, and Armuchee High School resource officer.

“Barry was the ultimate professional officer during his entire career at the [sheriff’s office],” said Burkhalter, who went duck hunting with Sutton. “He could cut up with the guys and be happy go lucky, but when it came time to turn that switch on and go into contact mode, he did it and did it well.”

The bombing targeted a NATO convoy travelling in a crowded neighborhood of Kabul, the AP said. Militants have been attacking the capitol city increasingly in recent weeks, and armored vehicles often travel in groups of two or three. The blast was so strong that at least one of them was completely destroyed.

There were conflicting reports of the death toll, which is common after such attacks. An Afghan health ministry spokesman told the AP that the blast killed at least 11 Afghan civilians and one foreigner, and wounded 66.

No group claimed responsibility in the immediate aftermath. Militants often don’t claim credit for attacks that injure large numbers of civilians, the AP said.