SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Spartanburg County community honored Deputy Austin Aldridge, his family, and local law enforcement on Wednesday.
Deputy Aldridge was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday, while responding to a domestic violence call.
At Harrison’s Workwear, staff started sewing mourning bands on Wednesday, to cover law enforcement badges.
“It’s something you never want to have to offer,” said Robert Owens, one of the managers.
Owens said it’s a way to honor lives lost in the line of duty.
“Officers from any law enforcement agency can come and get [the bands] to show respect for the fallen officer, whether it be in their department or not,” said Owens.
Owens said Harrison’s provides uniforms and gear for several law enforcement departments across the Upstate. He said deputies and officers are frequently in the store.
Owens said this is a loss felt across the community.
“You know, obviously, we build relationships with these people as they come and go more on a regular basis, you start learning first names,” said Owens.
In Spartanburg, some flags are flying at half-staff. North Greenville University is lowering flags on Wednesday. A school spokesperson said Deputy Aldridge was a student there from 2016 to 2018.
In a statement, the university president said in part, “We are grateful for his sacrificial service to our community. His desire to serve with distinction was well-known to all. He loved Spartanburg County and serving under Sheriff Wright.’
Owens encouraged people to show support by donating, praying, and keeping the Aldridge family and Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office in their thoughts.
The sheriff’s office said Aldridge was an organ and tissue donor. He was taken to Columbia for that procedure and about 70 people will benefit from the donation.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Deputy Aldridge’s family.