On Sunday, a young cop found out he was about to be a dad for the first time. On Tuesday, this guy shot him in the head.


SPARTANBURG, SC – WSPA 7, the Spartanburg CBS affiliate, is reporting that a sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in an apparent ambush earlier this week.

According to the sheriff’s office, 25-year-old Deputy Austin Aldridge was one of the deputies responding to a domestic violence call around 3:20 pm on Tuesday. As he was walking up to the home on Chaffee Drive, he was met with rifle fire.

“He was ambushed. “He was shot,” said Sheriff Chuck Wright.

Aldridge, who had been with the agency for 3 years, was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A neighbor called 911 to let them know that Deputy Aldridge had been shot.

“I called 911 and let them know that an officer had been shot,” Jason Smith told WSPA.

“I saw the suspect come out and he tried to get into the officer’s car. He couldn’t and he turned around and went back in his house. He came back out, my other neighbor had come out and at that point, and he turned around and pointed his rifle at my neighbor and he went back inside. He got in his pickup and drove off right as officers were coming down the street.”

Witnesses gave deputies a description of the shooter and his vehicle.

Some went in pursuit, other secured the scene so paramedics could safely get to Aldridge.

Pursuing units said that the suspect acted as though he was going to pull over and give himself up.

He actually opened fire on that deputy. Fortunately, he missed. That deputy returned fire.

Shortly after that, we wrecked his vehicle and ran into the woods, firing on deputies a third time.

“After knowing what was going on with one of our brothers, this deputy charged in and wouldn’t quit,” said Sheriff Wright. “He chased this guy, guy acted like he was wanting to surrender, gets out, shoots at the deputy, deputy returns fire.”

Deputies and members of SWAT formed a perimeter around the woods and converged on the shooter. He was found lying next to his rifle, suffering from two gunshot wounds.

He was taken to a hospital and expected to recover.

That suspect has been identified as Duane Heard. He has now been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

New details were released early Friday morning, according to FOX Carolinas.

According to Sheriff Wright, Aldridge knocked on the door. Heard allegedly opened the door and shot the deputy in the head.  He then is said to have stolen the wounded deputy’s gun, Taser and keys.

His motives for shooting the young deputy, who leaves behind a wife, is still under investigation.

Aldridge was an organ donor. His organs are expected to save numerous lives.

“I would have been proud to call him my son. Good, good young man. I never had a problem with him, smiling all the time. He loved people,” said Sheriff Wright.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his wife.

In the past 3 days, the page has already received $143,025 of its $250,000 goal.

According to that page:

“Austin is survived by his wife, Jessica, whom he married in 2019. Austin and Jessica recently celebrated a positive pregnancy test on Sunday, June 19, and both expressed nervous excitement about becoming first-time parents.”

He found out he was going to become a father just two days before making the ultimate sacrifice for his community.

The thoughts and prayers of the Law Enforcement Today family goes out to his wife and family, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and the community which he served.


Where’s the media? Skyrocketing number of police officers being ambushed, shot and murdered so far in 2022


We are only 5 1/2 months into 2022. We have already seen at least 156 officers shot this year, with 24 of them succumbing to their injuries, according to figures provided to Fox News by the Fraternal Order of Police.

The Officer Down Memorial Page has the number of confirmed 2022 line-of-duty shooting deaths at 26.

Both websites include El Monte Police officers Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, who were allegedly shot and killed by a gang member with a prior record that included a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

“Criminals feel free to engage in crime,” said Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association and a retired officer with nearly three decades of experience. “You see videos all over TikTok and Instagram, where criminals are doing things, and they appear to have no fear of the police, of a security guard, of a store manager, none of that.”

Many believe that left-leaning district attorneys have a lot to do with the number of criminals on the street who commit more violent crimes as they await trial.

Case in point, the suspect in the killing of the two El Monte officers, Justin Flores, likely should have been in jail. But Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s office said:

“The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense. At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence.”

He certainly has a documented history now, if convicted, and there are two families grieving over the death of these officers.

But many believe that the assault on law enforcement is a direct result of the violent “defund” movement posing under the guise of BLM and Antifa.

“We’re in the third year of the war on cops, the renewed war on cops in a post-George Floyd world,” Brantner Smith said. “And then we have these ‘woke’ prosecutors who are not keeping people in jail.”

She believes that the two suspects responsible for the last three slayings should have been behind bars.

“Had they been in prison, these three cops would still be alive,” she said.

We have an archive of stories we have published over the past few years that identify numerous officers shot to death in the line of duty.

Many of them we killed by someone that probably should have been locked up. Instead, criminal justice reform has continued to put violent offenders back on the streets, where they continue to commit acts of violence.

According to the stats provided by the FOP, there have been 27 ambush-style attacks this year, with 42 officers being shot, and six dying of their gunshot wounds.

Continue to use Flores as the example, an unidentified source within the LACDA’s office, told Fox News that had he been tried under standard procedure, he would have likely been sentenced to around 3 years.

Instead, he was tried and convicted under a “blanket directive.”

Whether it is a DA, a politician or a random group of cop-hating protestors, police officers are forced to navigate this false narrative that the left is pushing so hard. Law enforcement is fighting an uphill battle with a much steeper grade than previously experienced.

“We’ve got to fight the false narrative that American law enforcement is a danger to our communities,” Smith said. “San Francisco recalled Chesa Boudin, and now there’s a big movement afoot in Los Angeles to recall George Gascon. I think this may be a trend now… I think we may see a trend politically that this is what’s going to happen.

In the meantime, cops are dying. We’re getting ambushed, we’re getting injured, and it’s not just fatal shootings. Most police officers who are attacked don’t die, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have life-altering, career-ending injuries.”

Sadly, we are on pace to set records for the number of law enforcement officers that are being shot and/or killed. We are on pace to see 375 officers shot by the end of the year, with close to 60 of those losing their life in the line of duty.


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LET Unity

LOS ANGELES, CA- According to a report from Fox News, the suspect who murdered two El Monte police officers was on probation for a gun charge.

Justin Flores, who has been accused of killing two police officers during a shootout, was a known gang member and was on probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal thanks to District Attorney George Gascon’s progressive policies.

Flores had a previous strike conviction and received two years probation for a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. This sentence is in accordance with Gascon’s policies that put convicted felons back on the streets without any remorse for the victims.

Those policies allowed Flores to plead no contest and receive a light sentence despite having a strike on his criminal record.

Sources with the district attorney’s office said that if Flores had been prosecuted under the normal procedure, instead of Gascon’s progressive policies, he would have likely been sentenced for up to three years in prison.

Instead, Flores was released back to the streets and murdered two police officers. This incident is likely to direct more criticism at Gascon, who is facing a second recall of his policies. The recall campaign announced that it has collected the number of signatures required to let the voters decide.

Reportedly, Flores’ first strike stems from a conviction for burglarizing his own grandparent’s home nearly a decade ago. The felony firearm charge comes from a 2020 arrest where he was also charged for possession of drugs for personal use. A statement from Gascon’s office said:

“The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense. At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence.”

LA Superior Court records show that Flores was sentenced in February 2021 to 20 days in jail and two years probation after he pleaded no contest to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm following an arrest in March of 2020.

Prosecutors also dismissed two other counts when Flores entered the plea; one for being a felon in possession of ammunition and another of being in possession of methamphetamine. Records show that Flores was considered a felon because of a 2011 conviction for a burglary that led to a two-year term in state prison.

Court records also showed nearly a dozen other prosecutions, many resolved with no contest pleas and probationary sentences for charges such as driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, or resisting arrest.

Flores wife, Diana Flores, said that the 911 call was made when she was with her husband at the motel. Diana said:

“I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me. I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”

According to a report from the New York Post, a day before the deadly shooting, Flores’ probation officer filed for a revocation hearing after the suspect allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, which is a violation of his probation.

Instead of being arrested and put in jail, Flores was allowed to stay on the streets ahead of a June 27th hearing. The two officers came under fire after knocking on the door of a room at the Siesta Inn.

Flores reportedly followed his wife to the hotel, where she booked a room to escape him after he allegedly stabbed her a day earlier. Diana said she warned the officers that her husband was not in the right state of mind and that he had a gun. She said:

“I love my husband to death, but … this wasn’t my husband. This was a monster. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this. I am so deeply sorry. They didn’t deserve that or their families. They really didn’t. They were trying to help me.”


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