SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - Hundreds of people packed into the Sumter Civic Center Sunday afternoon to remember Corporal Andrew Gillette, the deputy shot and killed Tuesday while serving an eviction notice at a home on Thomas Sumter Highway. He leaves behind a wife, son and dozens of family members.
On March 1, the community came together to remember not how Corporal Gillette died, but how he lived.
“He was a family man who fiercely loved his wife Marie, and he adored his precious little son John Curtis,” said Rev. Allen Jones of Westside Baptist Church.
The packed room of air force members, Sumter deputies, first responders and community members also heard from Cpl. Gillette’s brother, Steve Gillette.
“This community has truly shown that people can come together and be there for each other through the worst of times," said Gillette. “To his brothers and sisters in both the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Air Force, I personally want to thank you for being his family, for giving him a place to become who he was meant to be.”
Sumter County Sheriff, Anthony Dennis, says Tuesday was one of the worst days of his law enforcement career. He says Cpl. Gillette was always the first to help someone in need.
“Cpl Gillette was a brave officer who did not hesitate to perform his duties when he had been sworn to carry out. He had a strong sense of right and wrong, and regardless of who or what they were, he treated people with the same respect that he too wanted to be given," said Sheriff Dennis.
Outside of his work, his family and fellow deputies say he was a history buff who loved trains and the railroad, and he also loved shooting competitions with old western reenactments. Westside Baptist Church pastor, Aaron Reed, says while today was a day to mourn., it was also a day to celebrate, because he says Cpl. Gillette is now in heaven.