Sunday, April 25, 2010

Army Staff Sgt. Ian M. Deutch

Remember Our Heroes

SSG Ian M. Deutch, 27, was killed during a shootout at the Terrible’s Lakeside RV Resort in Pahrump NV. Deutch had been back on the job two days following a brief vacation and a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan with the First Squadron 221st Cavalry, also known as the Wildhorse Squadron.

A helicopter flew Deutch to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, but he did not survive, in spite of emergency surgery.

The Nye County Sheriff’s deputy killed outside a Pahrump casino was a decorated soldier who had recently completed 10 years of service in the Nevada National Guard.

Staff Sgt. Ian Deutch, 27, joined the service in March 2000. He was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in May 2009. Deutch was assigned to the First Squadron 221st Cavalry, also known as the Wildhorse Squadron. The team returned from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan last month.

Deutch’s brother, Richard, served alongside him. They were among nine sets of brothers in the Wildhorse Squadron. In the field, Deutch worked as a Fire Support Specialist, a forward observer for artillery strikes.

FOX5 followed the Wildhorse Squadron’s journey from the training grounds to the battlefield last year. The Deutch brothers can be seen in some of the raw footage taken before their deployment.

On the second day after his return to the Nye County Sheriff's Office, the 27-year-old deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was shot five times -- once in the knee, once in the pelvic area, and three times in the upper chest.

"It's horrible," said his mother, Suzy Deutch, speaking by phone from her Las Vegas home. "He was finally safe. In our country. And somebody here kills him."

“It's hard to comprehend he'd only just returned from the high-threat environment of Afghanistan almost one month to the day of his loss. He will be sorely missed,” said Nevada Army Guard Chief of Staff Col. Michael Carlson.

Suzy Deutch said hospital staff called the family into the hallway outside his room at 9 p.m. to explain the extent of his injuries. It would take a miracle for her son to recover, doctors told Deutch.

"We stood in the hallway, watching the doctors jumping on his chest, trying to get him to come back," she said, crying as she recalled the event. "And he couldn't come back. He couldn't come back. They tried so hard."

The gunman, whose name and age were not released Tuesday morning, was shot and killed by another deputy, whose name has not yet been released.

More than 100 friends, family and fellow soldiers were stationed outside of UMC Monday night awaiting updates on the fallen deputy's condition.

One of those was his brother, Nye County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Jason Deutch, who served alongside his sibling in Pahrump and Afghanistan -- one of nine sets of brothers who served together in Nevada's squadron.

Suzy Deutch said Richard wasn't involved in the casino shootout Monday because he hadn't yet returned to work. "His brother is devastated," she said. "They'd been together as deputies and as soldiers."

Cunningham described Ian Deutch as a soldier who never shied away from risk. "He put himself right up front. His whole personality was, 'If somebody has to do it, It'll be me, I'll do it,' " he said. "For a guy like that to end up getting killed is tragic."

Deutch found himself on the front lines of risk again on Monday, when he and fellow deputies responded to a woman who called 911 to report being shot at.

The woman told police that about 3:45 p.m., she tried to retrieve belongings from a home on Cajon Lane, a block away from Terrible's Casino. The suspect, who was at the home, immediately fired a weapon at her, she told police.

Sheriff Tony DeMeo said she fled and called 911. While on the phone, she told dispatchers she was going to the casino to be safe. The suspect followed her, DeMeo said, and the two entered the casino. The gunman walked outside carrying an SKS rifle just as two deputies were pulling up in a department pickup, DeMeo said.

"The deputies were actually exiting the vehicle, and that's when he opened up on the deputies," he said.

Suzy Deutch said her son left behind a wife, Vicky, a 5-year-old daughter, Savonya, and an 18-year-old stepson, Jon. Ian and Vicky had wed in March of 2009, shortly before his deployment to Afghanistan, she said. "He wanted everything to be set, so that if something happened to him, she was OK," she said.

He was a 2001 graduate of Chaparral High School who signed up for the National Guard when he was 17, between his junior and senior years, Deutch said. He loved his family, he loved law enforcement, and he loved his police dog, Chico, she said.

She said she wished she'd been able to spend more time with her son, especially after his safe return from Afghanistan. "We only had him home for 27 days," she said. "And then he was gone."

Throughout his military career, Ian Deutch collected more than one dozen medals and decorations, including: Afghanistan Campaign medal with campaign star, NATO Afghanistan Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

No comments: