Augusta, GA – Richmond County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Investigator Cecil Ridley was murdered in the line of duty on Tuesday night.
The 51-year-old investigator and other members of the narcotics unit were out on proactive patrol in an effort to help curb gun violence in the Augusta area when they encountered serval individuals at a gas station near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 12th Street at approximately 8:30 p.m., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
One of the officers attempted to make contact with 24-year-old Alvin Theodore Hester inside the store, but Hester turned away from him and attempted to exit the building, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
As Hester headed for the front doors to leave, Investigator Ridley happened to be walking inside, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Hester then opened fire, striking the investigator.
The officer who initially encountered Hester inside the store returned fire as the armed suspect took off into the parking lot.
Once outside, he was confronted by another officer, who also returned fire.
GBI Special Agent in Charge Pat Morgan said that Investigator Ridley was unable to return fire during the attack, and that he ultimately succumbed to his wounds, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Hester was transported to August University Medical Center for treatment of his gunshot wounds.
He is expected to be charged in connection with Investigator Ridley’s murder, WJBF reported.
Although the department has not confirmed how many years Investigator Ridley worked for RCSO, he did receive an award marking five years of service in 2018, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“Our hearts are with the family, blood & blue, of Investigator Cecil Ridley who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” the GBI tweeted early Wednesday morning. “We thank you for your service and will continue to pray for your family, friends, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.”
Augusta Fire Chief Chris James said that Investigator Ridley’s death was a tragic loss for the fallen officer’s family and the RCSO.
“The men and women who chose to become first responders put their lives on the line every day to protect our community, and last night Investigator Ridley paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Chief James told WJBF. “Firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement interact daily, so I know this loss is being felt throughout the public safety community.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp praised Investigator Ridley for his selfless service, and offered his condolences to the fallen officer’s family.
“I ask Georgians to join us in praying for Investigator Ridley’s loved ones,” Kemp tweeted on Wednesday. “He gave his life to protect and serve others, and losing him in the line of duty is heartbreaking. May God give his community comfort in this difficult time.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Cecil Ridley, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Investigator Cecil Ridley, your life mattered.