For the second time in just over a month, an Aiken police officer has been killed.
Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers, 48 and a 27-year veteran of the force, was shot while investigating a suspicious vehicle in an Aiken park about 7:30 a.m. Saturday, said Aiken Department of Public Safety Director Charles Barranco. She later died at an area hospital, he said.
State Law Enforcement Division spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said Joshua Tremaine Jones, 26, was arrested in connection with the shooting about 11:30 a.m. Saturday in a Batesburg-Leesville home. Jones will be charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. SLED has taken over investigation of the shooting.
he Aiken Standard newspaper reports that Jones, of North Augusta, was linked Saturday afternoon to another killing. According to Georgia officials, he is a suspect in the killing of his pregnant 21-year-old girlfriend, Cayce Vice. She was found dead at her apartment about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by officers doing a welfare check because Vice had not shown up for her job. It wasn’t clear Saturday night how long she had been dead or how she was killed.
Jones has been convicted of gun violations in Aiken County and was sentenced to 108 days in prison, according to Aiken County public records. A full criminal record was unavailable Saturday.
Barranco said Rogers had an associate’s degree in business from Aiken Techinical College and was a field training officer. She had received the force’s distinguished service and life saving awards. At a press conference Saturday night, Barranco said he appreciated the public’s support as his department mourns the loss of another officer.
“I’d like to thank this community for standing next to us again,” he said.
This is the third shooting involving an Aiken Public Safety officer in just over a month. Officer Scotty Richardson was shot and killed in a traffic stop at an apartment complex Dec. 20. Scotty Richardson lived in Lexington County, had a wife and three children and was a 12-year veteran of the force.
Another officer was shot in that incident as well, but survived. Stephon Carter, 19, was charged with murder and attempted murder in the incident.
For Scotty Richardson’s friends, Saturday’s shooting was especially troubling. Redina Nettles and Angie Holdorff were selling magnetic car ribbons to raise money for the fallen officer’s wife, Amelyn, Saturday at an Aiken community center. Nettles said the shooting put a damper on the day.
“Everybody is in shock,” she said. “It’s the second officer in a month’s time, and I am just at a loss for words.”
Gerry Owens was at the fundraiser as well. He said the news stirs up emotions from just a month ago.