South Carolina airport officer shot and killed

Officer shot and killed in Florence, SC (Photo: WPDE)

An officer was killed in an officer-involved shooting at the Florence Airport, according to Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken.

Lutcken identified that officer as 26-year-old Jackson Ryan Winkeler of Dillon. Lutcken says Winkeler was a Florence Regional Airport Officer.

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He says the shooting happened shortly before 6:00 a.m. Sunday on airport property. Law enforcement officials tell ABC 15 the security officer was conducting a traffic stop at the airport when the shooting happened.

An official with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says the suspect initially fled the scene, but was later apprehended by Florence County Deputies.

SLED officials have identified the suspect as 37-year-old James Edward Bell.

Captain Josh Jackson said Winkeler signed up to volunteer with the Latta Fire Department around five years ago, and was known for doing anything he could for his community.

“He lost his life doing what he loved the most. Helping people. Jackson was one of the best firefighters that you could ever have on a fire scene,” said Dillon County Fire Lt. Nic Bethea. “No matter what time of the day it was, Jackson was willing to help. Jackson had a heart of gold. From myself and all of Dillon County Station 2 firefighters, we will continue praying for the family. Latta Fire 23 will forever be Jackson Winkeler.”

Click here to read more about Winkeler from our affiliate WPDE.