Georgia sheriff's deputy killed in shootout with suspect, officials say

A Georgia sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Tuesday night in Augusta, authorities confirmed.

The Richmond County deputy, narcotics investigator Cecil Ridley, was fatally injured at 12th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Augusta, Sheriff's Office Sgt. William McCarty confirmed to

The deputy was conducting proactive patrols to curb gun violence in the area, which began last week, McCarty said. At some point, Ridley encountered a suspect and gunfire was exchanged. It's unclear what led to the shooting.

The suspect was also shot and taken to Augusta University Medical Center, McCarty said. The suspect’s condition is unknown.

The GBI confirmed on Twitter it is responding to an officer-involved shooting involving the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. No other information has been released.

The Richmond deputy is the seventh Georgia law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in 2019, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks deaths throughout the nation.

Ridley is the 108th officer killed in the line of duty this year, according to the database. He was 51 and lived in Augusta, address records show.

It’s unclear how long Ridley worked at the Sheriff’s Office, but he received an award in 2018 for five years of service.

This is the 77th officer-involved shooting investigation the GBI has opened this year.

The 76th investigation was prompted by a shooting in Monroe on Monday night after an altercation at a hotel, previously reported. A man was shot twice by police after he allegedly refused officers' commands and accelerated a Jeep.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally.

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