AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Richmond County Deputies are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Richmond County Narcotics Investigator Cecil Ridley was shot and killed Tuesday night around 9 p.m. It happened at 12th Street and MLK Boulevard in Augusta.
Deputies encountered several people outside of the Augusta Mart. According to the press release, 24-year-old, Alvin Theodore Hester Jr., went inside the store and was approached by a member of law enforcement.
Hester attempted to leave the store as Investigator Cecil Ridley was coming in. Hester then approached and shot Ridley.
The other officer returned fire inside the store. Hester then made his way to the parking lot where he encountered another officer and raised his gun.
Both officers fired at Hester, hitting him. Hester was taken to the hospital for treatment where he remains at this time.
A total of two officers fired at Hester. Investigator Ridley was unable to return fire and died as a result of his injuries.
The GBI has secured warrants for Hester from the Richmond County Superior Court including Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
A media presser Wednesday at the sheriffs office honored Investigator Cecil Ridley.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree spoke to NewsChannel 6 about the incident.
He spoke candidly about Investigator Ridley. He said he was a part of a new gun control initiative that started about a month ago.
According to Sheriff Roundtree, 52 guns have been swiped in the last 15 days. As for the suspect who shot Investigator Ridley, he had 3 illegal handguns on him as well as drugs, authorities say.
The sheriffs office says funeral arrangements will be made in the coming days.
Reaction and condolences have been coming into the WJBF Newsroom.
Chief Charles Barranco with Aiken Department of Public Safety tells us, “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at all times, but especially now in this hard time.”
Augusta Fire Chief, EMA Director Chris James tells us, “On behalf of all the members of Augusta Fire & EMA, I want to express my condolences to the family of Investigator Ridley and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Both have suffered a tragic loss after last night’s incident. The men and women who chose to become first responders put their lives on the line every day to protect our community, and last night Investigator Ridley paid the ultimate sacrifice. Firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement interact daily, so I know this loss is being felt throughout the public safety community. Again, I want to say to both Investigator Ridley’s family and the entire Richmond County Sheriff’s Office that we are sorry for your loss. “
NewsChannel 6’s Dee Griffin spoke with people who knew him personally.
Investigator Ridley played football for Glenn Hills and graduated in the class of 1987. One classmate describes him as being “passionate” about his job.
He is remembered as a father and a man who loved his family.
Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they become available.