'I miss you, brother': Hundreds gather for Investigator Cecil Ridley's viewing

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Monday, November 25, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

Hundreds of uniformed officers and community members lined up outside Warren Baptist Church on Tuesday to say goodbye to Investigator Cecil Ridley. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Hundreds gathered at Williams Funeral Home for Investigator Cecil Ridley's viewing on Monday.

For Willie Saunders, it's hard to put into words the moment he heard the news about Investigator Ridley's death.

"Shock. Just shock," he said.

Saunders worked as a prosecutor and Juvenile Court judge during Ridley's first stent with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. He said Ridley's sense of humor got them through some tough cases.

"He was funny, at least to me. We worked in a lot of high pressure situations," he said. "He could find a way to make things kinda light. Take the pressure off the moment."

But this moment, with Ridley not there, feels very heavy.

"[I'm] trying to wrap my head around the violence that is permeating our community," Saunders said. "It concerns me now. It concerned me when I was a Juvenile Court judge."

He said there have been plenty of times in his more than 20-year career where it seemed like violence was slowing down.

"But then something like this comes and it's just a gut punch," he said.

He said he hopes the community comes together and learns to
appreciate life following this shooting. He also hopes they appreciate the service Ridley gave to the community.

And if he had one more moment with his friend, he'd deliver a simple message.

"I miss you brother."

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