NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – North Augusta Public Safety responded to an officer involved shooting, Thursday evening.

Thomas Michael Airington

The incident happened in front of Gary’s Hamburgers on Georgia Avenue.

NAPS has requested SLED to assist with the investigation.

We’ve been informed that the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office are also assisting.

SLED has identified the suspect in custody as 42-year-old Thomas Michael Airington of Clarks Hill.

Officers were responding to a call regarding ‘suspicious activity in the area’. North Augusta Public Safety’s Lt. Aaron Fittery was shot during the exchange of gunfire, he was shot in the leg during an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. He is currently listed in good condition.

“Shortly after Officer Fittery was shot a good Samaritan stopped and asked Aaron if he was okay.  Aaron said I’ve been shot and I need some help can you get me to the hospital.  We are still trying to identify that good Samaritan this morning.  So that’s a blessing for Aaron and for us that she stopped and took him to the hospital very quickly.”

NADPS describes Lt. Fittery as the “backbone” of their Citizen’s Police Academy.

Damage done to Lt. Fittery’s vehicle:

NADPS appreciates the never ending prayers and support we get from the citizens of North Augusta. 

Friday Press Conference:

Witnesses Speak:

NewsChannel 6’s Wes Cooper spoke with Ryan Williams and Hudson Rud from North Augusta.

“It’s something I never would have thought would happen in North Augusta,” said Williams.

Rud recalled the incident saying, “I hear it and it was like pop, pop, pop. Probably like 40 to 45 shots.”

Ryan Williams and Hudson Rud scoop ice cream at Pink dipper. 

Williams described the scene saying, “These two women walked in with a horrified look on their face and they were screaming kind of. And then I heard the gunshots and I ran back to my manager and Hudson and told them what was going on. Everybody started running in and Hudson had to get everybody to the back.”

“I helped direct them a little bit. Trying to know where the safe spots are because it is kind of a new place. They don’t really know where all the spots are. Shoved them into the back room and hoped for the best,” explained Rud.

Shattered glass, bullet casings littered the street. You can see how a bullet hit this truck window. Lt. Thornton reports all suspects and persons of interest in the shooting are either detained or in custody. SLED is leading the investigation. 

“It was pretty scary. Something I’ve never experienced before,” said Williams.

Rud said, “They just kept on coming. Probably like 15 cop cars undercover ones too and then I saw them lining up the tape and I was like this can’t be good.”

Continue to stick with us as this officer-involved shooting investigation moves forward.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for more information on this developing investigation.