BARNEGAT — A man who fatally shot himself by accident on Saturday is being remembered as someone who served his township, state and country.

Sgt. 1st Class James Hammer, 46, of Barnegat accidentally shot himself while disassembling a gun at his Barnegat home, according to Ocean Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

According to a GoFundMe page created to help with funeral expenses, Hammer was a father of six and a recent grandfather.

"My father served 21 years as a Combat Veteran in the military serving in the Marines, Air Force & Army National Guard," his daughter, Samantha Hammer, wrote.

James Hammer had been a member of the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Department, according to minutes of the township committee meeting of Feb. 19, 2013. He was one of several members whose "quick action" was credited for saving the life of ex-Barnegat fire chief Ed Buckley in June 2013, when Buckley suffered a heart attack, according to a Patch news story about the recognition.

More recently he worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Co-worker Lisa Bolka wrote on the GoFundMe page that she remembered Hammer "as always smiling and never having a bad thing to say about anyone. We talked often at work about his long commute and he said everything he did was for his family."

Funeral arrangements have not yet been disclosed by the family.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated James Hammer's daughter's name.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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