Crime & Courts

Shot deputy suffers setback

AIKEN -- The 56-year-old deputy shot in the line of duty early Friday has been transferred to the intensive care unit at a Georgia hospital because of medical complications, officials said Monday.

Deputy Larry Cleveland, who was shot twice during an armed robbery at a Southside convenience store late last week, had a medical setback, but officials at the Aiken County Sheriff's Office cited federal patient protection rights as the reason for refusing to give the specific details of the "setback" or his recovery.

Cleveland was struck once in the right shoulder during the holdup and once in the right hip. The upper body shot went through his body. The bullet fired into his hip, how-ever, was lodged there.

The deputy fired back at the gunman, striking the shooter in the chest and killing him, officials said.

The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Rodney Hamilton Jr.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt said Friday at a press conference that the deputy would not face any disciplinary action, saying he likely saved the life of the 37-year-old store manger, Sherry Doe.

Doe was opening the Four Seasons convenience store at Citadel Drive and Whiskey Road abut 4:30 a.m. Friday when the masked gunman sneaked up on her. She was on the phone with her sister, who heard the commotion and called 911 for help.

Cleveland and Deputy Michael Goodwin, 32, were fired at as they entered the store, officials said.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating the armed robbery.

Investigators say they do not know how the gunman got to the store that morn-ing or if he was staying somewhere nearby.

State agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating the shooting incident as they would with any officer-involved shooting, sheriff's office officials said.

-- Aiken Standard, McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

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