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The year in review: Aiken officer killed in the line of duty

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Richmond County was not the only county in the area to lose a police officer this year. Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scott Richardson was shot Dec. 20 and died in the hospital a few hours later.

Amelyn Richardson cried as she received the American flag at her husband's funeral.   Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Amelyn Richardson cried as she received the American flag at her husband's funeral.


Police reports say Offi­cer Travis Griffin was called to an address in the 700 block of Teague Street about 9 p.m. to investigate a report of shots being fired. Griffin was told by a woman she heard two gunshots and saw a black Chevrolet Impala speeding away with Stephon M. Carter, 19, of Aiken, behind the wheel.

Griffin pulled the car over a few minutes later with Richardson and Sgt. Tracy Seymour. The report says before officers could react, Carter pulled a pistol and shot Grif­fin in the chest, then fired a fatal shot at Richardson.

Police said Carter was shot and caught in a field behind two apartment buildings near the complex by other officers who had arrived.

Sgt. Aaron Dowdy said that at least three officers returned fire and that the shot that took down Carter was fired from some distance away.

At the funeral, Public Safe­­ty Director Pete Frommer said Richardson had completed the probation period, which normally takes a year, in eight months. Besides his basic training, he had 1,460 hours of advance training. Richardson held certificates and qualifications above being an officer, including being an arson investigator and a bloodhound handler, and he showed young parents how to properly install car seats, Frommer said.

He also received the South Carolina Public Safety Hero’s Award for his work on the DUI program.

At the funeral, speaker Tim Harley said Richardson was first a family man. Richardson’s widow, Amelyn, was in the front row with their three boys, Zander, 5, Chase, 4, and Maddox, 16 months. Harley said Maddox would fall asleep only if he was lying across his father’s chest.

THE SERIES

The Augusta Chronicle looks back at the big stories of 2011.

DEC. 24: The Augusta State men’s golf team showed its 2010 national title wasn’t a fluke.

DEC. 25: Lady Antebellum didn’t forget its local ties.

MONDAY: The Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse, the Kroc Center and Costco opened.

TUESDAY: City Administrator Fred Russell managed to survive controversy.

WEDNESDAY: Richmond County school Superintendent Frank Roberson missed the first half of the school year after emergency brain surgery.

THURSDAY: Suspensions and retirements of top officials made for an eventful year at the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department.

FRIDAY: Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean was convicted of child molestation.

TODAY: Two law enforcement officers – Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy James D. Paugh and Aiken Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson – were killed in the line of duty.


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