SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - We’re learning more about Corporal Andrew Gillette, the 37-year-old Sumter County deputy who was shot and killed yesterday while serving an eviction notice at a home along Thomas Sumter Highway.
Deputies say the man inside, 56-year-old Terry Hasty fired multiple shots, striking Cpl. Gillette in the chest. Deputies returned fire, killing hasty.
Crews rushed Gillette to the hospital, but despite the fact he was wearing a bulletproof vest, he died from his injuries.
Sumter County deputies say Cpl. Gillette was not just a deputy, but he was a brother. “As a supervisor, when you have subordinates, they become your family, and they’re almost like your children,” explained Lieutenant Petrina Wiley.Gillette came from a family with a long line of law enforcement and served with Senior Investigator Randall Stewart at Shaw Air Force Base for 12 years before they both joined the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
“Andrew was just a fun-loving, lovable, very caring type of person. He was always joyous, and he would always try to make light of the moments. I believe in the 16 years I’ve known him, I’ve never actually seen him upset. He was just a happy jolly kind of personality," explained Stewart.
Deputies say Cpl. Gillette was funny and kept many of them laughing. “He was witty in his own way. He had very unique humor,” said Lieutenant Petrina Wiley.
He was also dependable. "They knew he was going to be there. If they called him, they didn't even have to call him, if they needed him, he was responding," Wiley said.
Cpl. Gillette was a family man and a man of faith. He leaves behind a wife and an 11-year-old son.
“He loved his family. He loved his son and talked about his wife Marie and John Curtis all the time. He was passionate about trains, almost to the obsessive level. We talked about that often, and he would tell us stories about his trips to the train museums,” said Investigator Stewart.
These deputies are leaning on one another for support because they say they know he would want them to continue to protect and serve. “We must be strong. We have to be strong because we truly are a family, and when one hurts, all of us hurt. He will be tremendously missed,” said Wiley.
To donate to Gillette’s family, click or tap here to visit Serve and Connect, and specify the donation is for the Corporal Andrew Gillette Memorial Fund. The sheriff said 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to Gillette’s family.
Today also marks 24 years since the last time an officer was killed in Sumter County, back in 1996.