Public safety officer now recovering after a shootout on Georgia Ave.


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – 15-year veteran, Lt. Aaron Fittery suffered a gunshot wound to the leg following a shootout on Georgia Avenue. Chief of Police, John Thomas says he’s back home and now recovering. The suspect, 42-year-old, Thomas Arrington, has been arrested and is charged with attempted murder. Those charges could pile up as the investigation unfolds.
Gunshots erupting last night following a collision on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta.

“It was very, very loud, there were so many,” said Jessica Boyd.

Jessica Boyd is the owner of Air Workshop in North Augusta. Her store is just a few feet away from where the shooting happened. She and another employee saw everything unfold.

“We saw the black truck go by and then it was a line of SUV’s that stopped out in front. Then the police officers jumped out of the car, they all had their guns and were already ducking for cover,” said Boyd.

Boyd was able to see it all from her storefront window. When she saw the guns come out she and the other employee ran to the back of the store and locked the doors.

“I was concerned for myself, my employees, for everybody in this area, but I think they did a fantastic job,” said Boyd.

The bullet holes left in Lt. Fittery’s cruiser tells only part of the story. Boyd says there were dozens of evidence markers where casings were found. Chief of Police North Augusta Public Safety, John Thomas says the suspect 42-year-old Thomas Airrington led police on a chase after a resident called in suspicious activity.

“We in turn spotted the vehicle and obviously tried to attempt to stop that vehicle. The suspect fled in the vehicle which caused a collision,” said Chief of Police John Thomas.

That crash was at the intersection of Martintown Rd and Georgia Ave. Chief Thomas he does not know the conditions of the people involved in that accident.

“The suspect continues down Georgia Ave. and exits the truck and as you have seen and heard from the previous report shots were fired so at that point he opened fire on our officers,” said Chief Thomas.

Chief Thomas is calling it a miracle that no one else was hurt, but there was some concern from people who live nearby about their safety after being involved in the crossfire.

“A couple officers were involved in returning fire to the suspects, but I think you have to understand to the training and restraint that I talked about during that time of day. You know a lot of people talked about what happened here, but we have to look beyond the sights of a gun we have to look at what’s in our view what’s in our vision what kind of crossfire we’re going to get into, so my hats off and kudos to our department,” said Chief Thomas.

North Augusta Public safety is asking for the person who took Lt. Fittery to the hospital to come forward. Police officials say, Arrington, the suspect, had an extensive criminal background. We’re still gathering more information on that. Check back here for updates.

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