UPDATE (1:08 p.m., 05/08/2020) – Representatives of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety have updated the condition of a victim in Wednesday’s standoff from critical to “still in critical, but stable condition.”

Chasity Wright was shot four times and was able to escape from a house on Hugh Street where she was believed to have been held hostage by her fiance, Rodney Bettis.

She was rushed to the hospital after fleeing from the house where she was held captive and getting between two cars out front, where she was retrieved by the responding agencies.

After shots were fired from the duplex where Bettis was inside with Wright, the entire neighborhood was shut down and elicited a law enforcement response from multiple South Carolina departments and agencies, including the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office SWAT.

When asked whether any one from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office was on leave for discharge of firearm, a spokesperson told WJBF that no Aiken County deputies used gunfire during the situation and that no one from that department has been placed on leave.

The Aiken County Coroner listed Bettis’ cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – Chasity Wright’s family tells NewsChannel 6 she is in critical condition.

The family also tells us the suspect, Rodney Bettis and Wright had recently become engaged.


A hostage situation that began just after 11 a.m. has ended, with the suspect taking his own life. The stand-off response included several law enforcement agencies to an apartment complex off Georgia Avenue.

It happened just after 11 a.m. at a duplex on the 200 block of West Hugh Street.

At least one hostage, now identified as a woman in her 30s named Chasity Wright, was held before being released and taken for treatment of injuries. Officials state that she was shot at least 4 times.

“We don’t know her condition. We’ve been told she was hit and shot four different times. We hope and pray that she’s going to be okay,” said North Augusta Public Safety Chief John Thomas.

The suspect, 34-year-old Rodney Bettis, reportedly took his own life.

“There is always gunshots coming from back there,” says Dennis Briatico, who lives in the area. “There were two murders back there over the last couple of years. They use this empty lot right over here that somebody owns and refuses to clear to come out here and test guns. You can hear them at three and four in the morning. We as a neighborhood have complained to the city of North Augusta about this. We’d like to see that broken up and that property have something else done with it.”

Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they become available.

Watch the full press conference below:

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