In an Aiken County courtroom filled with a somber atmosphere and a sense of closure, Thomas Michael Arrington was sentenced Tuesday for a 2021 high-speed pursuit that resulted in dramatic gunfight in North Augusta, leaving one officer injured and multiple vehicles damaged.
On that terrifying day on Dec. 9, 2021, North Augusta Public Safety officers responded to a possible burglary in the area of Arch Drive. The situation escalated when officers attempted to stop a fleeing felon, identified as Arrington. The pursuit reached dangerous speeds on Georgia Avenue, culminating in a violent collision at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and East Martintown Road, involving three vehicles and overturning one.
Arrington, displaying a blatant disregard for public safety, opened fire on officers during rush hour traffic, firing a total of 49 shots. NADPS Lt. Aaron Fittery was struck in the leg but continued to perform his duties as the pursuit unfolded. Arrington was eventually apprehended, marking the end of the dangerous incident.
On Tuesday, authorities say that Arrington received a sentencing that reflects the severity of his actions:
25 years (concurrent) for 4 counts of attempted murder
3 years (concurrent) for failure to stop for blue lights and siren
5 years for unlawful carrying of a firearm
1 year (suspended to time served, concurrent) for other charges
The North Augusta Public Safety expressed gratitude towards the Aiken County Solicitors Office, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, ATF RAGE Unit, and other surrounding agencies for their support during and after the incident. Lt. Clay Swann conveyed appreciation for the unwavering support from the citizens of North Augusta.
“Today was a day for closure as well as a solemn reminder of duty and sacrifice,” NADPS Lt. Clay Swann said in a press release. “While it is the hope of every law enforcement officer to go home safely each day, they also realize the dangers of the profession and willingly place themselves in harm’s way to serve their communities.”