Man killed by deputy an ex-fire chief

cwinston@thestate.comOctober 29, 2013 

Wilmon L. “Bucky” Hutto, 71, was shot by a deputy in his home Monday in the Oak Grove community.

CHRISTOPHER WINSTON — CWINSTON@THESTATE.COM

— The man shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy at his Oak Grove home Monday worked as a firefighter in Lexington County for more than two decades.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department released no new details Tuesday about the shooting death of Wilmon L. “Bucky” Hutto, 71, who retired in 2003 as fire chief of the Oak Grove and Pine Grove stations. Several efforts to reach Maj. John Allard, a department spokesman, by email and phone were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Deputies were responding to a call of shots fired at the home on Mineral Springs Road shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, Sheriff James Metts said in a news release. When deputies entered the home, Hutto allegedly turned the gun on them and threatened them, Metts said.

Deputy Billy Womble, who has been with the department for 12 years, shot and killed Hutto, the sheriff said.

Hutto’s death at the hands of a law enforcement officer, inside the 1900s-era home that Hutto had renovated, left some neighbors in the quiet Oak Grove community shaking their heads.

Don Kelly, a computer consultant who has lived across the street since 1993, said Hutto’s yard was often filled with grandchildren, noting they frequently came to fish in the pond.

“It seems like they should have been a little less aggressive,” Kelly said of deputies. “Different tactics should have been taken.”

Law enforcement officers typically receive extensive training on when to draw their weapons and to pull the trigger.

Hutto worked as a county firefighter for more than 25 years. His father and uncles were firefighters, as were his wife, a niece and a daughter. When he retired in 2003, he was the chief of the Oak Grove and Pine Grove stations. Hutto was one of the county’s first paid fire chiefs and founded the county’s fire investigations team. He was Lexington County’s chief fire investigator, following service as a firefighter in West Columbia..He later became chief for the Oak Grove and Pine Grove stations.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, as is typical in such cases. Womble, who has been a deputy since 2001, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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