Serve and Connect has established an online fundraiser in memory of Gillette, with 100% of proceeds going directly to his family.
Donations can be made by visiting Serve and Connect's website.
According to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, this is currently the only official donation site for the Gillette family.
The fundraiser is run with assistance from the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association, South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association and South Carolina Sheriff's Association, of which Dennis is serving as the 2019-2020 president.
It has been almost 24 years to the day since Sumter County mourned an officer killed in the line of duty, a number reset Tuesday when a 36-year-old Air Force veteran was shot to death over an eviction notice.
Cpl. Andrew Gillette died after being rushed to Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital just before noon. According to Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis, he was struck in the chest after a suspect fired multiple shots at him at a house at 3120 Thomas Sumter Highway in Dalzell.
Gillette, who had been with the sheriff's office since 2013, was attempting to serve a detention order and eviction notice. Dennis said he was wearing a vest.
"We didn't just lose a deputy today. We lost a family member," Dennis said during a media conference Tuesday afternoon. His head hung, voice breaking as his colleagues stood silent, straight-faced out of necessity by his side.
With shots being fired around 11:30 a.m., Dennis told The Sumter Item the situation was deemed non-active by 11:50 a.m., posing no additional threat to the public or deputies. U.S. 521 was blocked at Four Bridges Road as vehicles were told to turn around and blue lights zoomed past the roadblock on one of Sumter's busiest roadways.
The suspect, 56-year-old Terry Hasty, was killed at the scene after the two other deputies who were on scene returned fire, according to Deputy Adrienne Sarvis, public information officer for the sheriff's office. No one else was injured. No one else was in the residence at the time.
Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said Hasty was pronounced dead on scene and that an autopsy will be performed on Friday morning at MUSC in Charleston.
Social media posts by the sheriff's office congratulated Gillette for being named employee of the month in 2015, for being promoted to corporal in 2016 and in 2018 when he was spotlighted in a Meet Your Deputy post.
That post in 2018 described Gillette as having been a reserve officer with the agency for three years before becoming a fulltime officer. He medically retired from the U.S. Air Force after serving for 12 years, his assignment at Shaw Air Force Base being what brought him to Sumter.
He said in the post he "married a local girl and just stayed here."
On Tuesday, Dennis said Gillette has an 11-year-old son.
"He loved his family. And, part of that family involved the Sumter County Sheriff's Office," Dennis said.
Gillette comes from a family of California law enforcement officers.
He is the second law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in South Carolina this year and the sixth officer-involved shooting.
Twenty-four years ago today, Sumter County Sheriff's Sgt. Charlie Kubala responded to a call about a suspicious person at a residence on Taylor Street off Boulevard Road. He was met by Bobby Wayne Stone, who was convicted a year later and was sentenced to death.
According to previous reports in The Sumter Item, Kubala was the first lawman killed in South Carolina in almost two years and was the only Sumter County sheriff's deputy to be shot to death while on duty since 1937.
Stone sits on death row in South Carolina after his ordered execution was delayed in response to a court order from his attorneys and due to the state's lack of one of the three drugs needed for lethal injection.
While not all fatal, there were 45 officer-involved shootings in the state last year, according to SLED.
"He loved what he did," Dennis said of Gillette.
Now, Dennis said, the sheriff's office staff has the unbearable task of burying one of their own as SLED investigates the shooting.
"It's going to be tough," he said, "for every officer in this agency."
Reporter Shelbie Goulding and Page Designer/Copy Editor Melanie Smith contributed to this report.
An earlier version of this article stated Gillette was 37, according to information provided in a breaking news situation by law enforcement. The corporal was 36, according to his obituary.
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