Chief reports lieutenant is doing well after North Augusta shooting

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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – The City of North Augusta is safe because of the great work first responders are doing according to the mayor.

Briton Williams said, “Thursday night was not an indictment against any error of our community. Our downtown is safe. They are real men and women who love this community and they only want to serve in the best way for their community.”

At Monday’s study session, Mayor Williams thanked all those who helped during last Thursday’s officer-involved shooting.

He gave special recognition to Sgt. Andrew Harris, Cpl. William Mays, Officer Gavin Rangel, Officer, Alex Crawford, Officer George Gymer, Officer Jesse Suggs, Officer John Rutland, Investigator Niles Emeneker, Investigator Travis Smith, Dispatcher April Schott, Dispatcher Dottie Price, Dispatcher Beth Mims, and of course, Lt. Aaron Fittery. The mayor was also appreciative of all the other agencies and people who responded to Thursday’s incident.

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Public Safety Chief John Thomas reports Lt. Aaron Fittery is getting around slowly and doing great. A woman rushed Fittery to the hospital after he told her he’d been shot.

According to Thomas, “That could’ve saved his life and we’re obviously very thankful. We’re going to try to reach back to that individual and try to get that person to be recognized at some point.”

The good Samaritan wishes not to be identified right now and Fittery was shot about five inches above the ankle. He didn’t need surgery.

“It was a clean wound. It went through maybe I guess you would say the meaty part of his leg there so no bones. No ligaments torn, very blessed for that, ” said Thomas.

Mayor Williams said the man suspected of shooting Fittery was a criminal before last week’s incident. A media report from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office shows Thomas Airington was arrested in August for several drug and weapons charges. He’s now facing a lot more.

Thomas said, “It’s one of those things we didn’t plan on having but occurred and I thank the officer enough who held great restraint in what they did so the training paid off. We’re very blessed to stand out here and talk about that.”

The chief is working on getting some counselors in to talk to officers who want to that were on shift at the time of the officer-involved shooting.

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