Scott Richardson, Aiken Public Safety officer killed in the line of duty in December 2011. (WRDW-TV / Dec. 21, 2011)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Dec. 26, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. -- There's a lot of light in a dark time for Aiken Public Safety.
It came in large numbers, and it came in the form of candlelight. Behind each flame was a member of the community supporting fallen officer Scott Richardson.
"He was a good guy," said Selma Sullivan, whose son worked the same shift with Richardson. "He was a family man, and we love him to death."
Others didn't know Richardson at all.
"I have heard nothing but awesome things about him," Lynne Tollison said.
But all of them stood together for the same reason, and the idea that brought them together started last week in a Facebook group.
"I do not have a clue how many are going to show up," said Tollison, who organized the vigil. "Anywhere from 10 to 15 or 60."
She never expected what she got: More than 100 people standing together with candles to make a statement.
"It was wonderful," Sullivan said. "It's sad, but we know he's in a better place. We just all get together and pray and hope no tragedy like this ever happens again."
The vigil was indeed a memorial service to remember a fallen officer, but some say it's more than that. They say it's a message to all those who protect and serve.
"We have great pride in this area, and we have great pride in our public safety, and that's why we're here coming out here to show our support for them and to show them that we love them and we can feel their sadness," Tollison said.