SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis has released a heartfelt message about deputy Cpl. Andrew Gillette.
Gillette was shot in the chest by a suspect while trying to serve a detention order and eviction notice at a home in Dalzell on Tuesday morning.
Crews rushed him to the hospital. But despite the fact he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Gillette later died from his injuries.
The sheriff said he is confident his deputies handled the situation correctly, despite the tragic outcome. He spoke fondly of Gillette, saying the office “will never get over the loss.”
Read his full letter:
“Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, along with SLED, are continuing to review the details of what happened yesterday. Based on my preliminary review of the events, it is clear that our deputies acted appropriately and professionally and I am confident the full investigation will confirm that.
Cpl. Andrew Gillette and the other deputies were doing their daily duties and carrying out an order of the court. I am satisfied and proud with the manner in which they conducted themselves in carrying out those duties before, during and after the tragic event that unfolded. Our deputies have my full confidence and support.
Of course, the best outcome would have been no loss of life but the subject’s unfortunate and senseless actions led to the loss of two lives and the grief of numerous families.
This is a tragic loss and a difficult time for the Gillette family, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and Sumter County.
Andrew was more than a badge and a car. He was a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He can never be replaced and no combination of words can truly express the pain that is felt.
I am the Sheriff of Sumter County and the county includes those who have sworn to serve and those we are sworn to protect.
I, along with everyone at the Sheriff’s Office, appreciate the outpouring of support from our community, other law enforcement agencies and people from all over the country.
We will never get over the loss of Andrew but we can make it through this pain together.”
Gillette served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years before he went into law enforcement in Sumter County in 2013. He had been stationed at Shaw Air Force Base during his time in military service.
“I married a local girl and just stayed here,” Gillette was quoted as saying in a post on the SCSO Facebook page from 2018.
He is survived by his wife and 11-year-old son, the sheriff said. Gillette was 37 years old.