November 30, 2005
There was no sign Wednesday of the man wanted in last week’s triple shooting in North Augusta. It has been eight days since a gunman killed one man and wounded two other people. News 12 took a ride in the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter that was called to the scene last week.
The view from above may help catch the killer. The helicopter took off from Columbia to hunt down the North Augusta killer. Chief Pilot Bob Brickley’s team of nine is on call if North Augusta Public Safety thinks the gunman is near. They’ll be on the scene no matter what the dangers.
“Flying at night, bad weather, and wind could possibly be shot at anytime,” Brickley said.
Tress from above is the scenery they had to navigate during last week’s manhunt. They can fly as low as five hundred feet to the ground.
“They will just hover right over the person no matter where he tries to go,” said SLED Chief Robert Stewart.
Then they rely on bloodhounds to lead searchers on the ground to the suspect.
It takes SLED about 30-45 minutes to get from Columbia to the North Augusta area.
“Once the helicopter is in the area, the bad guys usually think they can be seen and they may be seen,” Stewart said.
Body heat can be seen from above. They used this equipment to search for the killer right after the shooting.
“We catch ‘em all every time we go out,” Brickley said.
That’s Lieutenant Bob Brickley and the rest of the aviation team’s plan for the Aiken County killer.
The infrared images from the helicopter are recorded from later use in court. The flight team is ready to head back this way if local law enforcement has any reason to believe the gunman is near.