Wounded deputy leaves hospital

An Aiken County sheriff’s deputy who was wounded in an exchange of gunfire Friday was released from the Medical College of Georgia Hospital today, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said.

Lt. Troy Elwell said earlier today that Deputy Larry Cleveland had been moved to the hospital's intensive care unit “as a precautionary measure.” Lt. Elwell said he could not elaborate on the reasons for the transfer.

Deputy Cleveland was wounded in the shoulder and the hip during Friday's attempted robbery at a convenience store.

The shootout happened about 5 a.m. when Deputies Cleveland and Michael Goodwin responded to a call about a possible armed robbery at Four Seasons Food and Fuel at Whiskey Road and Citadel Drive.

Lt. Elwell said that when the deputies entered the store a man appeared from behind the counter with a gun aimed at the clerk’s chest. The gunman, who was wearing a mask and gloves, fired at the deputies.

Deputy Cleveland fired back, striking the man in the chest, Lt. Elwell said.

The man, identified as Ronald Hamilton Jr., of Pennsylvania, died at the scene of a bullet wound to the chest, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

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