An off-duty Marin County (Calif.) Sheriff's deputy was shot and killed by a parolee while attempting to protect the man's ex-girlfriend during a domestic dispute.

Deputy Jim Mathiesen, 49, was unarmed when he was shot twice in the chest. Thomas Edwin Halloran, 28, was then shot to death by someone else at the rural residence in Sonoma County on Tuesday.

Mathiesen, a nine-year veteran, was assigned to the sheriff's custody division.

"This is tragic news, Jim died trying to help others," Sheriff Bob Doyle said in a statement. "He was known for his kindness and his helpful nature."

Deputy Mathiesen arrived at the home of the ex-girlfriend, who was a family friend and had asked him for advice about how to handle death threats she was receiving from Halloran. She had recently ended a relationship with him.

While Mathiesen was at the home, Halloran showed up. When the deputy asked him to leave, Halloran shot him twice in the chest. Halloran then took a hostage and while he was attempting to force that woman in to a vehicle, another resident grabbed a gun and fatally show Mathiesen, reports the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

"Family, friends and employees throughout the sheriff's office are grieving today with many sharing stories of how Jim touched their lives with his generosity," said Undersheriff Timothy Little, while addressing fellow deputies. "This is a time of great sadness for us all and right now our focus needs to be on taking care of the family Jim left behind, and that includes Jim's Sheriff's Office family as well."

Source: Silicon Valley Mercury News

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