Former Deputy in Critical Condition

The scene in Rincon.
The scene in Rincon.

One man is dead and his girlfriend is fighting for her life after a shooting in Effingham County yesterday. It happened in the Ridgewood subdivision in Rincon.

The violent crime has shocked both neighbors and Effingham County sheriff's deputies. Deputies are hopeful the woman will survive and be able to provide them with some answers about this horrible crime.

In a small quiet neighborhood, where many houses are being built, police say a man shot his girlfriend, then shot and killed himself. LifeStar flew her to Memorial Health, as her horrified neighbors looked on.

"I really don't know what happened, but it's a scary situation," said neighbor Joe Oliver.

He and his family, including lots of visiting grandchildren, live right across the street. "From where I'm sitting, it's about 200 feet."

Elizabeth Knapp and her family live even closer: right next door. "We have a two-year-old daughter and her bedroom is closest to their house, so I was a little concerned that something like that could happen so close to home," she said.

Police answer domestic disturbance calls frequently. What's alarming is when they turn violent. What's disturbing is when the victim turns out to be one of their former law-enforcement colleagues.

"When we arrived on the scene, we found Laura, laying on the floor just inside the door," said Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie. "She couldn't get to the door."

Laura Rahn worked as an Effingham County sheriff's deputy for about a year. She quit recently to go back to school.

"When something like this happens, it hits you like a family member getting hit, like a ton of bricks," said Sheriff McDuffie.

Effingham County sheriff's detectives prepared for an on-scene investigation that would take them into the night.

Several hours and several bags of evidence later, they were still piecing together what happened. The families of the two are left to grieve.

Rahn remains in critical condition, but police do expect her to survive. Detectives are still searching for her boyfriend's family. If you have any information, call the sheriff's department at 912.754.3449.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com