Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Justin Payne, 38, of Winchester, Virginia, died unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, Blue Lives Matter reported.
His exact cause of death was not released.
In a Facebook post, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said, “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we share the sudden passing of Loudoun County Deputy First Class Justin Payne.”
According to his obituary, the 38-year-old deputy joined the department’s patrol unit in April 2005, after graduating from Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Payne began serving as a school resource officer (SRO) at Sterling Middle School in 2008, and was most recently assigned as an SRO at John Champe High School, the LCSO said.
With his duties as an SRO, Payne showed “an interest in each student’s academics and extracurricular activities,” the department’s post read.
“He served as a mentor to many of them and we know he touched the lives of countless others, including his brothers and sisters here at the LCSO.”
In addition, he was also a member of the sheriff’s office’s Rapid Response Unit and SWAT team.
“Justin Payne was a close friend, a loved and trusted member of his agency,” Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Loudoun County Chapter President Sean Dikeman told Loudoun Now. “Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to the family of Deputy Payne during this difficult time.”
The PBA has established a memorial fund to assist Payne’s young family in the wake of their loss.
Payne leaves behind his wife, Erica, and his daughter, Addison, according to his obituary. He is also survived by his parents and grandmother.
Payne was laid to rest on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019.