Aiken police officer killed

AIKEN -- One Aiken Public Safety policeman was killed and another wounded during a shootout late Tuesday.

 

In a statement released this morning, officers said Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson, 33, had died from his wounds.

 

The second officer, Public Safety Officer Travis Griffin, 28, was treated and released after a bullet-proof vest prevented serious injury, police said.

 

Lt. David Turno said the shootings happened at 8:58 p.m. at Pace’s Run Apartments at Brandt Court and Camellia Street in Aiken.

 

The suspect, also taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, suffered a gunshot to the buttock, Lisa Hintz, assistant director for Aiken Rescue Inc. said.

 

The exchange of gunfire, totaling about 12 shots, was heard from the Aiken Rescue headquarters on Kershaw Street in downtown Aiken, Hintz said.

 

Turno said two other people are being questioned in the shooting, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

 

The South Carolina Law En­force­ment Division has been brought in to help, which Turno said is standard procedure for all officer shootings.

 

Turno also said the South Carolina Highway Patrol, North Augusta Public Safety Department and Aiken County Sheriff’s Office were answering calls for his department Tuesday night and this morning.

 

“They’ve taken over for the city tonight so we can take care of our own people,” Turno said.

 

Around 12:30 a.m., two Aiken Public Safety patrol cars arrived at the MCG Hospital emergency room entrance. Uniformed officers exited the cars and walked side-by-side up a ramp entering the hospital.

 

A few other law enforcement officers, some from Richmond County, who had been gathered outside the hospital for several hours, also entered. By 1 a.m., the scene in front of the emergency room entrance was quiet, but several Aiken and Richmond County patrol cars were still parked nearby. Ten minutes later, two more cars with Aiken Public Safety officers arrived.

 

With Tuesday’s shootings, three Augusta-area law enforcement officers have been shot in the past two months.

 

Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy James Paugh was fatally shot Oct. 23 when he got into a gun battle with Army Spc. Christopher Michael Hodges on Bobby Jones Express­way. Paugh, 47, was riding his traffic enforcement motorcycle home from a special detail when he noticed a car parked off the road and decided to investigate. Witnesses said Hodges had fired rounds from a rifle at passing cars. Paugh was killed but still wounded Hodges, who later killed himself.

Police Statement

It is with profound sadness I must report to the Citizens of Aiken, Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson 33 has succumbed to the wounds he received when shot during a traffic stop in the City of Aiken on 12/20/2011 approximately 08:28P.M..  Master PSO Richardson was married and had three young children.  Master PSO Richardson was a graduate of South Aiken High and the University of South Carolina Aiken.  Master PSO Richardson began his career with Aiken Public Safety on 09/27/1999 as a Cadet and worked his way to a Driver Operator position and then became a Public Safety Officer on 02/14/2005.  Master PSO Richardson was a beloved husband and proud father.  His constant smile was a pleasant sight at this office and to all those who knew him. 

 

The State Law Enforcement Division has taken over the investigation into the shooting incident as standard protocol with an officer involved shooting.

 

A number of Law Enforcement Agencies have assisted us while we deal with our loss.   We are grateful for the help from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Highway Patrol, North Augusta Public Safety, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Aiken County Solicitors Office.

 

Also shot during the incident was Public Safety Officer Travis Griffin 28.  Officer Griffin was shot in the chest and his bulletproof vest saved his life.  Officer Griffin was treated and released late Tuesday evening and is with his family.  Officer Griffin was also a University of South Carolina Aiken graduate and was hired by Aiken Public Safety on 11/09/2009.

 

The department will send another press release in Wednesday afternoon around 2P.M. with more details on MPSO Richardson’s career and accomplishments along with any funeral details we may have at the time of our release.

 -- Lt. David Turno

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