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Family says Afghan sniper killed Pittsylvania County's Lee McCubbins

By Justin Ward, jward@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 27 2013 07:10:59 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 28 2013 01:31:11 AM EST

Family and friends in Southern Virginia are mourning the death of Lee McCubbins.

PITTSYLVANIA CO., Va. -

"It's sort of like a daze now. No, I'm sure Christmas is going to be something, you know cause he lost a son in 97. So that happened at Thanksgiving. It don't go away," said Ralph McCubbins, Lee's father.

It's been 24 hours since family found out Lee McCubbins died. The news still hasn't sunk in.

"Nobody wants to believe it but you just take one day at a time," said Julie McCubbins, Lee's sister.

Today a constant stream of visitors and phone calls flooded his father's home in Pittsylvania County.

Ralph McCubbins has retold what happened dozens of times since his son's death on Christmas Day but he says it still doesn't seem real.

Lee's family says he was shot by an Afghan sniper while jogging in an American compound. They were told the sniper was arrested. His dad always feared for his safety.

"Me personally, I knew it was going to happen. I mean I had that gut feeling. He had been doing this seven, eight years. I told my wife a couple weeks ago that he needed to get out from over there," Ralph McCubbins said.

McCubbins was passionate about his dogs. He trained and worked with them while guarding a power plant in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan.

It was a contracted job by the U.S. State Department.

"He worked for a private security and he's been to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, that I know of. Sometimes we didn't know a lot," Ralph McCubbins said.

His sister never wanted him to go.

"Why? You know, I didn't understand why he wanted to go over there when it was all the war and all that stuff going on when he had a good job here," Julie McCubbins said.

McCubbins also worked at the Danville Police Department from 1994 to 2009 moving up the ranks and working with K-9's and in the SWAT team.
His coworkers turned into buddies.

"Lee was someone I considered a brother. So it's very much the case that I've lost a brother myself," said Captain Dennis Haley.

McCubbins called his family Wednesday morning to wish them a Merry Christmas. Hours later he was shot.

His dad says he was ready to come back to Virginia.