SC Deputy Ambushed & Killed During Response to Domestic Violence Call

Spartanburg Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge
Spartanburg Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, was killed in the line of duty on June 21, 2022 in an ambush while responding to a domestic violence incident. Austin is survived by his wife, Jessica. The couple recently celebrated a positive pregnancy test on Sunday, June 19th. (Courtesy of the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)

June 22, 2022 – In Breaking News – Go Upstate

A Spartanburg County deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday while responding to a domestic call.

Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, died at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday from injuries sustained in the shooting, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger.

Spartanburg Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bobo said deputies responded to a domestic call at 3:20 p.m. on Chaffee Road in the Oak Forest subdivision. In a statement, Bobo said the deputy was shot as he approached the residence on Chaffee Road.

At a press conference held later Tuesday night and shortly before the deputy was declared dead, Sheriff Chuck Wright said the suspect, Duane Heard, was shot twice by deputies and was expected to live.

(There has been an outpouring of support in the Spartanburg County community for a 25-year-old sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Courtesy of WLOS News 13 and YouTube. Posted on Jun 23, 2022.)

Heard, who is being supervised by law enforcement while receiving treatment at a local hospital, was charged Wednesday afternoon by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. SLED will be the prosecuting agency for all charges. Heard’s condition has not been released. 

“I didn’t know him personally. He was somebody that helped protect us,” said Kristy Johnson.  “It crushes me. It’s not right that officers often die to protect us. It breaks my heart.”

Aldridge, a former Byrnes High School student and a 2016 graduate of Wren High School, was described as “a loving husband, son, friend and partner to many,” according to a GoFundMe page posted Wednesday morning.

A prayer vigil was held Wednesday afternoon at the Sheriff’s Office.

(Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis on deputy death in Spartanburg County. Courtesy of WYFF News 4 and YouTube. Posted on Jun 21, 2022.)

Wednesday morning, flags could be seen at half staff, and some left flowers at the Sheriff’s Office. Residents brought flowers and laid them by the fallen officers’ memorial.

“I’m hoping this will bring the community together. It’s tragic, especially with him having small children. I’m sure his wife and children are upside down. I know I’m going to be busy all day delivering flowers and there will be a lot more coming in,” said Jeff Wood, who delivers for Coggins Flowers.

Continue reading… Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office deputy Austin Aldridge dies after Tuesday shooting

Editor’s note:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, both blood, and blue. Thank you for your bravery and commitment to serving the citizens of South Carolina with pride and distinction. You will not be forgotten.

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