NBC news reports that two active duty soldiers, Staff Sgt. Charles Allen Judge Jr., 40, and Sgt. First Class Jonathan Michael Prins, 29, were killed when acting as Good Samaritans in defense of a woman who was being assaulted at a bar in Savannah, Georgia. Both men were combat veterans and both were highly respected by their fellow soldiers and within their Chains-of-Command. Both men leave behind families, including young children. These soldiers survived combat in Iraq and Afghanistan only to die on American soil in an act of senseless violence. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the families.
The military was mourning two soldiers Tuesday who were fatally shot while trying to protect a woman from a gun-toting man in a South Carolina bar.
Staff Sgt. Charles Allen Judge Jr., 40, and Sgt. First Class Jonathan Michael Prins, 29, “were acting as good Samaritans when they were shot,” said Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
Joseph Elijah Mills, 25, is charged with two counts of murder in Lexington County, South Carolina. Lexington County Sheriff’s Office
And they paid for their bravery with their lives.
“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Staff Sgt. Judge,” said his commanding officer at the McCrady Training Center, Col. Renita Berry. “He was an outstanding instructor who served with great dedication and enthusiasm and demonstrated unwavering commitment to his peers, his students and this organization every day. He will be missed tremendously.”
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Van McCarty said he served with Judge in Iraq in 2004 and called him a “soldier’s soldier.”
Prins was a drill sergeant at Fort Jackson who had served in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
“The way SFC Prins was taken from us, is a testament to his bravery and his selfless service,” fellow Fort Jackson drill sergeant Brandonn Baldwin posted.
Joseph Elijah Mills, 25, was arrested shortly after Sunday’s double killing and charged with two counts of murder.