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‘Utterly heartbreaking:’ Condolences come in after S.C. deputy shot in line of duty dies

Spartanburg County Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge died Tuesday night at the age of 25.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:46 AM EDT
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MOORE, S.C. (WBTV/FOX Carolina) – Condolences from law enforcement agencies and elected officials across South Carolina are coming in after a Spartanburg County deputy shot in the line of duty dies.

The York County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that its heart was broken upon hearing the news that Spartanburg County Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge died Tuesday night at the age of 25.

Related: ‘He was ambushed’: Spartanburg County deputy shot in line of duty dies

The tweet from the YCSO said the department “know of this loss all too well,” appearing to reference the January 2018 York County shooting that took the life of Det. Michael Doty.

On Tuesday, Spartanburg County deputies were called to a domestic incident on Chaffee Drive in the Oak Forest subdivision. Deputy Aldridge was shot as he approached the home, authorities said.

Aldridge was taken to the hospital and died around 9:26 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the suspect, Duane Heard, took off in a vehicle after the shooting. Authorities tried to stop him, saying he appeared like he was going to surrender at one point before opening fire again.

No deputies were injured during this exchange of gunfire.

Heard wrecked his vehicle near the Keurig Dr. Pepper plant and ran into the woods. SWAT agents and K-9s were called in to locate him and he was eventually arrested.

According to deputies, Heard was shot twice during one of the incidents, but it was unclear when he was hit.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said the suspect was taken to hospital and is expected to survive.

Like York County law enforcement, the Fort Mill Police Department offered condolences to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office after Aldridge’s death.

“There are simply no words that can express our appreciation for Deputy Aldridge’s service, our grief over his loss, and our rage at his assailant,” S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman, who serves the state’s fifth congressional district, tweeted.

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