COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cayce Police Officer Roy "Drew" Barr was killed early Sunday morning after police say he was shot by a suspect at a home while on a call for service.
The suspect is also dead after officers say he took his own life following a seven-hour long standoff.
While the investigation is still ongoing, police and other officials have released some information on what they think led to the tragedy. Here's what we know and don't know at this time.
What started the incident?
Police said at 2:48 a.m. Sunday, they got a call of a domestic disturbance at a home on Rossmore Drive in the Concord Park neighborhood, about a half mile from the 12th Street Extension. At this point it's not clear the exact nature of that disturbance was about or who all may have been involved.
Three officers, including Barr, arrived at the scene. Cayce Police Chief Chris Cowan said they engaged a man who was in the front yard.
Moments later, shots rang out--Cowan says the gunfire came from the home--and Barr was wounded. He succumbed to those injuries.
"There was no call for it, there was no reason for it," Cowan said. "It was inexcusable."
There were no other reported injuries to law enforcement.
Standoff Lasts for Hours
The suspect remained inside the home and would not come out, police say, leading to a standoff between him and officers.
Multiple law enforcement agencies from around the central Midlands then responded to the scene to assist Cayce Police. Among those were the negotiators from the Columbia Police Department, who attempted to get the man to leave the house.
Roads near the scene were blocked, and would remain so for much of the rest of the day, as emergency personnel dealt with the situation.
Cowan says after seven hours of negotiation for a peaceful resolution, the suspect took his own life. The chief did not elaborate on that details; however, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division did confirm it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Lexington County Coroner's Office says the man who was found dead inside the home was 36-year-old Austin Henderson of Cayce. That house was his listed address.
Police have not said what specifically what Henderson was doing prior to officers arriving. News19 has reached out to law enforcement in an effort to get those answers and will bring those once we get them.
Who was Officer Drew Barr?
Roy Barr, also known as Drew, was 28-years-old. He'd joined the Cayce Police Department back in 2016, when it was still the Cayce Department of Public Safety, a joint agency of fire and police services.
Cayce's Facebook page states Barr became a traffic safety officer in 2019. In 2020 he joined the K-9 until, according to Cowan. He worked with one of the department's canine officers, Molly.
Barr also worked as a volunteer firefighter with the Monetta Volunteer Fire Department, where he was a captain, according to that agency. He also was an EMT with Lexington County EMS from 2013 to 2016.
Barr did not have a spouse or children. But Cowan described Barr as being "married' to his profession.
"He was committed to his profession, this community, and he cared about nothing else than serving this community," Cowan said.