SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The community is paying their respects for fallen hero killed in the line of duty.
Deputy Austin Aldridge was killed Tuesday responding to a domestic violence call on Chaffee Drive in Spartanburg County.
Deputy Aldridge’s patrol car was parked outside of the sheriff’s office. Many people have visited the memorial, leaving flowers, messages, balloons and other items to pay their respects.
“Grief is the price you pay when you love somebody and I’m just going to pay it,” said Sheriff, Chuck Wright.
The entire community is coming together honor Deputy Aldridge.
“It’s a good hope when you look out and see people, they loved Aldridge just because he represented good,” said Sheriff Wright.
“The Sheriff’s Department, Spartanburg County, Spartanburg, we’re just grieving and so heartbroken over the loss of somebody so young,” said Peggy Settle, who visited the memorial.
“It’s just a tragic loss. He certainly exemplified all of the characteristics that you would want in a police officer. He went and answered a call where someone was asking for help, his help, and he lost his life for it,” said Staci Rollins, a professor who taught Aldridge.
“If I could hire a 100 more just like him, I’d do it right now. He was, he had a good sense of humor, had a great work ethic, he had commitment,” said Sheriff Wright.
Deputy Aldridge played football at Wren High School and graduated in 2016. Then, he spent a few years studying criminal justice at North Greenville University.
“He was well-liked by other students, he was someone always willing to help. Very caring, really just a pleasure to have in the classroom,” said Rollins.
“He won’t ever be forgotten, and we won’t leave him behind, so to speak, but we’ll press forward because that’s what he would want us to do,” said Sheriff Wright.
Flags were lowered, flowers, and messages were left for a young hero who will never be forgotten.
“I’m saddened for the family and I’m here to show my love and support for them,” said Travis Smith, who visited the memorial.
“I’m so proud of this community for what they’ve done and the outpouring that they’ve showed,” said Settle.
“He knew Jesus and I know where he is and I’ll see him again someday,” said Sheriff Wright.
There will be a memorial held for Deputy Aldridge at the Sheriff’s Office on Friday night, at 8:30 p.m.
Sheriff Wright said his funeral will be held this Sunday at 3 p.m., but couldn’t give a location, yet.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Deputy Aldridge’s family.