J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation sees immediate outpouring of prayers and support

Deputies line entrance of AU Medical Center's ER while deputy was in surgrery.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) –  After about an hour long surgery Deputy Gregory Cooke lost his life. A life that touched this community immediately.

Prayers flowed into the J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation’s Facebook Page after word was posted of the death of Deputy Gregory Cooke.

Sharon Taylor, J.D. Paugh Foundation Secretary, shared the incident from her perspective.

“We’ve got an outpouring already of community support,” she described.  “I really didn’t know him personally. I know that he’s been with Richmond County Sheriff’s Office just a short amount of time, I think it was three years.”

Deputy Cooke started with RCSO in December 2014.

Taylor works as secretary for the J.D. Paugh Foundation, an organization that assist law enforcement with resources and families with monetary assistance. She said she broke the news to her brother-in-law, who worked with Cooke.

“He is in Atlanta on vacation. My sister heard the news and she immediately contacted me to find out what was going on and to see if I knew the details of his condition. At the time his condition was critical. We spoke with the doctors out at AU that said it was not looking very well for him,” she added.

Deputy vehicles lined the outside of Augusta University Medical Center’s ER where lights remained activated most of the evening.

Taylor added, “Yes, they take that uniform off, but they’re truly never off duty. It becomes who they are. It is inbreaded into them. It is just as dangerous to whether they’re in that uniform or they are outside of that uniform.”

Deputy Cooke joined the Sheriff’s Office in December of 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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