Spartanburg County Coroner's Office: Deputy Austin Aldridge dies after shooting on Chaffee Rd.

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A suspect is in custody after shooting a deputy who was responding to a domestic call Tuesday afternoon in Spartanburg County.

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 released Tuesday afternoon, Bobo said a deputy was shot as he approached the residence on Chaffee Road.

On Wednesday morning, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, died at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday from injuries sustained in the shooting.

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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.

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.

At the Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning, flags could be seen at half staff and some have already left flowers.

Flags are at half-mast at the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, Wednesday morning, June 22, 2022. Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, died at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday from injuries sustained in a shooting on Chaffee Road in Spartanburg Tuesday afternoon.
Flags are at half-mast at the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, Wednesday morning, June 22, 2022. Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, died at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday from injuries sustained in a shooting on Chaffee Road in Spartanburg Tuesday afternoon.

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

Wright said the deputy "need your prayers," and was visibly upset. Wright said the deputy had been with the Sheriff' Office for "about three years."

Wright also said the deputy was "ambushed and he was shot.”

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office deputy Austin Aldridge.
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office deputy Austin Aldridge.

Neighbors provided a description of the suspect, his vehicle, and his direction of travel, Bobo said. While other deputies secured the scene so EMS could treat the deputy, Bobo said another deputy spotted the vehicle traveling down Anderson Mill Road toward S.C. Highway 290 and attempted a traffic stop.

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Bobo said initially, the suspect acted like he was going to stop, but then he fired at that deputy, who returned fire.

"He was by himself for a while, after knowing this guy had done what he did, he didn't back up at all," Wright said in reference to the officer who pursued Heard after the initial incident. "He kept trucking, he kept going."

The suspect continued down Anderson Mill Road until he wrecked near a business just before the S.C. Highway 290 intersection and fled into the woods after firing at other deputies, Bobo said.

None of the deputies at the second and third scenes were injured. A perimeter was established and SWAT and canine deputies located the suspect in the woods, where he was arrested, according to the statement.

Wright said, at that point, Heard "was laying beside a rifle, but didn't attempt to get it."

Heard evidently asked for help at this stage and deputies obliged.

"Our men showed the best restraint of anyone I've ever seen in my life," Wright said.

Bobo said the suspect was transported to the hospital, but the medical status of both the deputy and the suspect is unknown.

As is the Sheriff's Office protocol, Bobo said the agency has contacted the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to investigate these incidents

A large police presence was in place at 4214 Chaffee Road near the Oak Forest Subdivision Tuesday afternoon.

Jason Smith, who lives on Chaffee Road, described the scene when he got home from work.

"I had just got home from the office. I was checking my pool levels and I was about to go inside, that's when I heard the gunshot," Smith said. "I saw an officer's vehicle at the end of the driveway and what appeared to be the outline of an officer laying on the ground.

"I called 911 and said an officer had been shot."

Bobo said residents who live in these areas may experience some detours until the scenes have been fully processed.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright talked to the media during a news conference at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of the law enforcement memorial at the Sheriff's Office.

"We are the good guys, we do it right, and we did it right. I just ask for you to pray for our deputy," Wright said before stating he would not release the deputy's name.

This is a developing story. Check back for more information. 

Chalmers Rogland, a Wofford College graduate, covers public safety and breaking news for the Herald-Journal. Reach him via email at crogland@shj.com. Find him on Twitter @CRogland. 

This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Spartanburg County deputy killed in shooting on Chaffee Rd.