Sumter County, SC – Sumter County Sheriff’s Corporal Andrew Gillette was fatally shot in the line of duty while serving an eviction notice on Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 25 as deputies were serving a detention and eviction order at a home on Thomas Sumter Highway in Dalzell, WIS reported.
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis told reporters at a press briefing that 37-year-old Sumter County Sheriff’s Corporal Andrew Gillette was shot when the subject of the eviction notice opened fire on deputies.
Sheriff Dennis said the suspect was fatally wounded when deputies returned fire.
Cpl. Gillette was shot in the chest and crews rushed to transport him to the hospital for treatment, WIS reported.
Sheriff Dennis said that despite best efforts on the part of first responders, Cpl. Gillette “died of wounds suffered in the line of duty.”
The corporal was wearing his bullet-proof vest when he was shot, WIS reported.
None of the other deputies were injured in the exchange of gunfire, the sheriff said.
Sheriff Dennis said Cpl. Gillette was assigned to the Civil Process Division and serving detention and eviction notices was a part of his daily duties.
“He served honorably,” the sheriff said. “He loved law enforcement. He loved the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He’s truly going to be missed by this office and by myself, too.”
Cpl. Gillette served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at nearby Shaw Air Force Base, WIS reported.
He was a reserve deputy for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office for three years, until he medically retired from the Air Force in 2013 and joined the sheriff’s department full time.
“I married a local girl and just stayed here,” Cpl. Gillette said in a “Meet Your Deputy” interview in March of 2018 on the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page.
Cpl. Gillette came from a long line of law enforcement officers.
His paternal great-grandfather and grandfather were South Pasadena (California) police officers, according to the interview.
Cpl. Gillette’s maternal great-grandfather served with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and then he went to work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after his retirement during World War II. He also had a great uncle who was LAPD.
His uncle was an officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and he had a cousin on LAPD at the time of the Facebook interview.
The fallen hero is survived by his wife and 11-year-old son, WIS reported.
Cpl. Gillette’s wife said through a spokesperson that her husband was living the dream when he died.
She said she was taking comfort in her faith and the law enforcement family, according to WIS.
A fund has been set up here to help Cpl. Gillette’s family with expenses. Donations made should be specified as for the “Corporal Andrew Gillette Memorial Fund.”
Sheriff Dennis said 100 percent of the contributions will go directly to the family, WIS reported.
“Everyone here loved him,” Sheriff Dennis said. “He always had a smile on his face and he loved what he did – serve and protect.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sumter County Sheriff’s Corporal Andrew Gillette, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Corporal Andrew Gillette, your life mattered.