Gunman Kills Police Officer in Line of Duty

Officer Roy “Drew” Barr, 28, of the Cayce Police Department (CPD) in South Carolina was shot and killed while he responded to a domestic disturbance call early Sunday morning, the CPD said.

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The CPD was called to the 100 block of Romswell Road at approximately 2:48 a.m., and officers made contact with a man in the front yard of the residence, said CPD Chief Chris Cowan at a Sunday morning press conference streamed by WLTX.

“As they were making contact with the individual – the male individual who was in the front yard of the home – there were shots that came from inside the house,” he said. “One of those shots struck and killed officer Drew Barr.”

“There was no call for it. There was no reason for it. It was inexcusable,” Cowan said.

A seven-hour-long standoff with the shooting suspect ensued as the CPD, the Columbia Police Department Negotiations Team, and personnel from at least seven other agencies worked to defuse the situation, but the shooter ultimately killed himself, Cowan said. Police have not released his identity.

“Officer Barr gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, to make us safe, and he loved what he did, but he paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Cowan said. “I would ask that the community, this state, pray for his family, pray for the Cayce Police Department as they heal.”

Cowan said Barr, who did not have a wife or children, was incredibly dedicated to his city and his profession. Barr, who was also an EMT and firefighter, moved to Cayce in 2016 before graduating from the Criminal Justice Academy in 2017. In October 2020, he was promoted to the K9 unit and was paired up with Molly, a five-year-old Labrador.

In 2017, both Barr and Sgt. Evan Antley were shot “during an incident that involved a car chase and gunfire,” South Carolina newspaper the State reported.

Per the outlet:

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In 2021, Eugene Jonathon James was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple crimes, including two counts of attempted murder for shooting Barr and Sgt. Evan Antley. James also pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. At that time James was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, a sentence he will serve after completing his 20-year prison stint on state charges, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

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“Our hearts are breaking in Cayce. Officer Drew Barr has been an important part of the Cayce family since 2016,” said Cayce Mayor Elise Partin, according to the State. “All of our Cayce officers, our Cayce team, and our Cayce citizens mourn with Officer Barr’s family.”