A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy is among the six American contractors killed when insurgent missile fire downed a commercial helicopter outside of Baghdad, Iraq.
Family friends say 28-year old Jason Obert of Fountain left the sheriff's office in February to earn extra money working in Iraq for Blackwater Security Consulting. The company is a subsidiary of North Carolina based- Blackwater U-S-A.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says Obert worked as an Army policeman before becoming a deputy the day before the September 11 terrorist attacks. Obert worked in the courthouse, transferring inmates and providing courtroom security. He was also a member of the Special Response Team that handles troublesome jail inmates.
Obert leaves behind a wife and two boys.
Eleven people died in the downing of the Russian-made M-I-8 helicopter 12 miles north of Baghdad, including three Bulgarian crew members and two security guards from Fiji.
The Blackwater contractors were assisting in protecting American diplomats in Iraq.
Two Blackwater contractors died last month in a roadside bombing near Baghdad.