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Senoia soldier slain in Afghanistan

Nineteen year-old Senoia resident Pvt. Austin Staggs was one of five soldiers killed in Afghanistan Monday when a border policeman opened fire on his unit.

Pvt. Staggs and five others died Nov. 29 in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an insurgent attacked their unit with small arms fire, according to the U.S. Dept. of Defense.

The six soldiers died after a border policeman turned his gun on his American trainers as the group headed to shooting practice. The gunman was killed in the shootout in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border, according to the USFallen.org website.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent to have an opportunity to kill foreigners, sources said.

USFallen reported that Staggs’ family will travel to Dover (Delaware) Air Force Base to receive his body.

The 19 year-old Senoia resident grew up in Weatherford, Texas and attended high school there. He graduated from a private school and then joined the Army, according to reports.

“He’s a good kid. He had a good heart. He loved people. He finished what he started. He accomplished his goal,” said Staggs’ mother Kaye Jordan.
Along with his wife, his parents and grandparents, Staggs leaves behind a 2-year-old son.

Among the other casualties arriving at Dover AFB were Sgt. Barry E. Jarvis of Tell City, Ind.; Pfc. Jacob A. Gassen of Beaver Dam, Wis.; Pvt. Buddy W. McLain of Mexico, Maine; Spec. Matthew W. Ramsey of Quartz Hill, Calif.; and Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Oakes of Athens, Ohio.

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