By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone
Cayce, SC – Cayce Police Department (CPD) Officer Andrew “Drew” Barr was murdered in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call early Sunday morning.
Cayce Police Chief Chris Cowan said the 28-year-old officer was fatally shot at about 2:48 a.m. on April 24 when officers responded to a home on Rossmore Drive located less than a mile from the 12th Street Extension, WLTX reported.
Chief Cowan said three officers arrived at the scene and talked to a man who was in the front yard.
That was when someone inside the residence opened fire on the officers out front, WLTX reported.
Officer Barr was struck by a bullet, according to the police chief.
“There was no call for it, there was no reason for it,” Chief Cowan said. “It was inexcusable.”
Officer Barr was rushed to the hospital as multiple other law enforcement agencies responded to the scene to assist the CPD.
Columbia Police Department negotiators worked for seven hours to try to get the gunman to give up, but the suspect ultimately took his own life, WLTX reported.
The Lexington County Coroner’s Office later identified him as 36-year-old Austin Henderson, according to The State.
Officer Barr, a six-year department veteran, succumbed to his wounds several hours after the shooting, WLTX reported.
Chief Cowan said Officer Barr “cared about nothing else other than serving this community. And he was shot and killed this morning for no reason,” The State reported.
Cayce Mayor Elise Partin told reporters at a press briefing that the community is heartbroken over the young officer’s senseless murder.
“Officer Drew Barr has been an important part of the Cayce family since 2016,” Partin said. “All of our Cayce officers, our Cayce team, and our Cayce citizens mourn with Officer Barr’s family.”
Officer Barr was also a captain with the Monetta Volunteer Fire Department, WLTX reported.
He previously served as a Lexington County EMS EMT from 2013 until 2016.
Officer Barr was assigned to the CPD’s K9 Division at the time of his death – a position he had held since 2020, WLTX reported.
He served alongside his four-legged partner, K9 Molly, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Officer Barr was previously shot in the line of duty on May 27, 2017, when a gunman ambushed him after he was involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The gunman in that attack is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence, according to the Daily Mail.
The CPD lowered its flag to half-staff and set up a memorial outside department headquarters using the slain officer’s patrol car, WLTX reported.
Our hearts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters at the Cayce PD & Officer Barr’s family. ￼
Thank you for your service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/41HwxuJ52j
— SCBPS (@BPS_CRO) April 24, 2022
Fallen Cayce Officer Barrs patrol vehicle. pic.twitter.com/8jH0dR59Y1
— Sleepy Weazel 81 (Jim) 🥋🐘 (@heyjimbousaf) April 25, 2022
This morning we honored @CaycePD Officer Drew Barr with a procession of local law enforcement agencies.
He will continue to be celebrated and honored for his bravery and commitment to keeping our community safe. Thank you Officer Barr for giving the ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/U83RJ9PkV8
— Lexington Sheriff (@LCSD_News) April 25, 2022
More Tributes have been placed on fallen #Cayce officer Andrew Barr’s patrol car. Many community members and first responders have also left written messages for Barr’s family. @WLTX pic.twitter.com/6yZ3lGTtcs
— Becky Budds (@BeckyBuddstv) April 25, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cayce Police Department Officer Andrew “Drew” Barr, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Andrew Barr, your life mattered.