Slain Nevada deputy was just back from Afghanistan
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Ian Deutch survived a tour of duty as a military forward artillery observer in Afghanistan. But he didn’t make it past his second day back on the job as a rural Nevada sheriff’s deputy.
Deutch was gunned down Monday by a man wielding an assault rifle in a casino parking lot about 60 miles west of Las Vegas. The death of the decorated Nevada Army National Guardsman and law enforcement veteran left those who knew him stunned Tuesday.
“The irony of spending a year overseas in a combat zone and then to come back and have this happen is, you know, tragic,” said Lt. Col. Scott Cunningham, a Las Vegas resident and commanding officer of Deutch’s guard unit.
Deutch, 27, a staff sergeant, and his older brother, Richard Deutch, a master sergeant, were among 752 soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 221st Calvary who returned home in March. Some members of the Wildhorse squadron suffered casualties but none was killed during their assignment in Afghanistan’s Laghman province.
Ian Deutch was a a meritorious service medal winner, a squad leader and an artillery forward observer with combat outpost Nagil, Cunningham said.
“He’s one of those guys, his full-time job is a police officer and his part-time job is a soldier,” Cunningham told The Associated Press. “He’s always been out there trying to help people and make a contribution to society.
“What a first-rate guy he was. What a sense of loss this is.”
Deutch was among deputies who responded after gunfire was first reported Monday at a home a short distance from the casino. Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said deputies diverted to Terrible’s Lakeside Casino & RV Park after a woman called 911 and said she was seeking safety there.
DeMeo called the shooting that killed Deutch “an unprovoked attack.”
“The deputies just pulled up. He was just getting out of the driver’s side when the guy opened fire,” the sheriff said.
Another deputy who arrived with Deutch in a marked sheriff’s department pickup truck escaped injury. A third deputy arriving in another vehicle fired four shots, killing the gunman, DeMeo said.
Deutch was wearing a bulletproof vest, but DeMeo said shots from the assault rifle pierced his body armor. He was flown by medical helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he underwent surgery but died late Monday.
The names of the gunman and the deputy who shot him weren’t immediately made public.
DeMeo said the slain deputy was a sheriff’s department veteran with several years on the job before deploying with his guard unit last year.
Nevada Guard Sgt. Erick Studenicka in Carson City said Deutch had been active in the National Guard reserve for seven years.
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