MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com)- A Millington soldier accused of killing a Georgia sheriff's deputy takes his own life.
26-year-old Christopher Michael Hodges was temporarily stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia.
Georgia deputies say Hodges was intoxicated when he started shooting at passing cars. He was also fighting with a woman inside his car. An off-duty deputy, 47-year old James Paugh, stopped to see what was going on.
When the deputy approached him, investigators say Hodges killed him, then turned the rifle on himself. On Sunday, October 23,2011, both men were found dead in Georgia on the side of a road.
No one was home at Hodges’ Millington house. Neighbors told abc24.com they were in shock when they heard the news.
"Why would someone do a thing like that? He had a problem somewhere," said a neighbor Huey Hawkins.
He lives across the street from Christopher Hodges. Many neighbors told us Hodges was a really nice guy who kept to himself.
"It's sad to see anyone take their own life,” said Hawkins.
Family and friends are leaving condolences on Facebook. Hodges was in Augusta for military training. His unit is preparing for deployment to the Middle East. Memphis VA Clinical Psychologist Mary Fruit says many soldiers build up anxiety before deployment.
"It depends how many deployments they've had for example. The more exposure you have the more likely you are to have difficulties," said Dr. Fruit. Fruit says being shipped overseas can be especially hard on younger soldiers.
“Most of us who were 18, 19, or 20 years old are still forming our adult identities and to have those kinds of events happening at that young age can, in some cases, have more of an impact,” she said. “Going to war doesn't mean you come back broken or damaged forever but you come back different."
Neighbors say Hodges didn't have any children and had been living in Millington for a few years.
James Paugh had been with Georgia Sheriff's Department for almost 20 years.