Crime & Courts

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is mourning unexpected death of one of its own

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the death of one of its veteran deputies.

Lt. William C. “Billy” Aiken unexpectedly died last Thursday, the sheriff’s department said in a Facebook post.

The 57-year-old suffered a medical emergency at his Irmo home and was taken to an area hospital where he died, the sheriff’s department said.

Information on Aiken’s cause of death was not available.

“We are all deeply saddened by Billy’s sudden passing,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in a news release.

In addition to his many achievements and awards, Aiken was a Purple Heart recipient, according to his obituary.

Aiken was a member of the sheriff’s department since 2001, previously working for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and two law enforcement agencies in Ocala, Florida, according to the post.

In Lexington, Aiken ascended to the department’s command staff, where he served as the lieutenant over special operations, the post said.

A 2010 graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, Aiken led the sheriff’s department’s emergency management and preparedness program, according to the post.

Aiken became Lexington County’s first certified emergency manager in 2017, the sheriff’s department said. He was the first law enforcement officer in South Carolina to be certified by the National Sheriffs’ Association as a Homeland Protection Professional, according to the post.

Aiken “was a valuable member of the LCSD family and worked hard to prepare the department for a wide array of hazards and emergencies,” Koon said in the news release. “He was passionate about planning and training, and our county is better off for it.”

A funeral service for Aiken will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at Riverland Hills Baptist Church, the sheriff’s department said. He will be buried at Woodridge Memorial Park.

Aiken is survived by his wife, Terri, and three children — Christian, Bethany, and Michael — among other relatives, according to his obituary.

Some of Aiken’s colleagues have posted memorials on his online tribute wall with the Caughman-Harman Funeral Home.

They refer to Aiken as a kind, dedicated and hard working man who loved his work almost as much as he cared for his family.

“He will be missed.”

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.