SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright provided new details Friday morning surrounding the murder of a deputy.
According to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Kimberly Heard, the wife of Duane Heard went to the sheriff’s office Tuesday afternoon to report domestic violence due to an assault that happened earlier that day.
While a deputy was taking the report at the sheriff’s office, Deputy Austin Aldridge went to the house on Chaffee Road to get Duane Heard’s side of the story.
“It was a very good reason he didn’t have another deputy there at the time, because it was the other half of the domestic violence, he went over there as protocol and normal,” said Sheriff Wright.
Once Duane Heard opened the door, he shot Deputy Aldridge then stole his gun, taser and handcuff keys and drove away from the scene, the sheriff said.
Deputy Aldridge was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Sheriff Wright said Duane Heard and a neighbor had a confrontation in the front yard where both of them pointed guns at each other.
As deputies were responding to the scene, they saw Heard’s truck on Anderson Mill Road and pulled him over but he eventually drove off.
The sheriff said a deputy eventually wrecked Heard’s truck, and he ran into a wooded area.
A perimeter was set up and every business in the area was placed on lockdown and protected.
SWAT and K-9 were dispatched to the wooded area. Sheriff Wright said, “They entered the area knowing what just happened to one of our deputies… and they entered into the woods anyway.”
A K-9 located Duane Heard about 30 yards inside of the wooded area and he was taken into custody without incident.
Duane Heard suffered two gunshot wounds, according to the sheriff.
Heard was taken to the hospital where he currently remains. He has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Sheriff Wright said he’s thankful for the outpouring of community support this week.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve had over 8,000 contacts since Tuesday,” said Wright.
He said it’s been an emotional week for his team.
“I’m hurting, our team’s hurting, our men are hurting… but we’re going to make it,” said Wright.