RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — A year ago, Richland County Sheriff’s deputy Sheila Aull was hit in the chest with a .380-caliber from a suspect’s gun.
Aull and other officers were chasing Adam Jurgen, who had attacked his girlfriend at a drugstore and tried to escape on foot through a St. Andrews subdivision. Jurgen and deputies exchanged gunfire three times before Jurgen eventually was killed outside an apartment complex.
Aull survived because of her bulletproof vest.
On the anniversary of the incident, Sheriff Leon Lott pointed out the increase in assaults on law enforcement. In 2013, 43 bullets were fired at 17 deputies.
In his 39 years in law enforcement, Lott said this is the most violence he has seen toward law enforcement.
The department averages an assault on a deputy per week, he said.
He attributes the violence to lack of respect for authority. Teachers deal with the same lack of respect in the classroom, he said.
In addition, the younger generation believes a gun can solve any problem, he said.
Lott said one consequence is the need for more equipment and training for his deputies on how to protect themselves.
Staff writer Noelle Phillips contributed.