PLYMOUTH (AP) — A city police officer serving in the Indiana National Guard was killed by small arms fire while on patrol in Afghanistan, his sister said, making him the third serviceman with Indiana connections to be killed overseas in less than a week.

Sgt. Major Jeffery McLochlin, 45, of Rochester, was on his second tour of duty when anti-government forces shot him Wednesday morning near the village of Orgun-e, said his sister, Andrea Marrs, reading from a report on her brother’s death. The village is about 20 miles from Pakistan.

A helicopter was taking him to receive medical care, but he died before it could land, Marrs said.

“He was a devoted father and husband. Just a selfless, caring person,” Marrs said. “A patriot, obviously. He believed in what he was doing. He asked to be at the base he was at because he thought he could accomplish something there.”

McLochlin, a 1979 graduate of Rochester High School and Guardsman for 19 years, was training Afghan soldiers in police tactics and was on patrol with coalition and Afghan forces when he was shot, Marrs said.

The six-year Plymouth police veteran had been on military leave from the department since September 2005 and had been expected to return this September.

“Jeff was a leader with our department, a leader with few words,” Police Chief Jim Cox said Thursday. “Everybody looked up to him. He was a good family man.”

McLochlin spent most of 2004 serving on a NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. When he returned from that assignment in November 2004, McLochlin told a reporter at his unit’s homecoming: “It feels great.”

McLochlin leaves behind a wife, Nicolle, and three children, Darby, 16, Connor, 8, and Kennedy, 5. His parents, Rich and Cindy McLochlin, live in Rochester, and his father was Fulton County sheriff in the 1980s.

Nicolle McLochlin said her husband wasn’t pleased about his latest deployment but wanted to be with his unit, not doing paperwork as she had hoped.

“This man was amazing. There will never be another, that’s for sure,” she told The Rochester Sentinel. “18,000 miles away and he called me daily when he could. He did everything he could to be a good father and a good husband.”

Plymouth Mayor Gary Cook has ordered all flags in the city 25 miles south of South Bend lowered to half-staff to mark the second death of a city officer this year. Cpl. Steven Hansen died unexpectedly in February.

City officers plan to wear a black band over their badges to honor McLochlin, who was the third serviceman with Indiana connections to die in less than a week overseas.

Indiana National Guard Staff Sgt. Paul S. Pabla, 23, died Monday when he came under attack while on foot patrol in the northern Iraq city of Mosul. He was a member of the Kempton-based 139th Field Artillery but was deployed with the 150th Field Artillery from Bloomington.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Timothy Flanigan, 37, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, was killed Sunday when an AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from Kandahar Airfield. Flanigan, who lived in Milan, Tenn., was a member of Company R, 4-278th Armored Calvary Regiment out of Jackson, Tenn.

The three killed in a week is the most for Indiana since four Indiana National Guardsmen died March 26, 2005, when a land mine exploded in Afghanistan. The deaths were the most in separate incidents since four Indiana servicemen died in seven days in November 2004.

Ten people from Indiana have died in Afghanistan or Pakistan since U.S. anti-terrorism operations began there in late 2001. Since February 2003, 62 Indiana military personnel have died after being sent to the Mideast for the war in Iraq.

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