AUGUSTA (WFXG) - A 65-year-old man is now in custody after allegedly murdering an Augusta city employee Thursday morning. The Richmond County Sheriff's office says just before 10 a.m. Thursday morning, Code Enforcement Officer Charles Case was inspecting a home on 13th Ave. when a man shot him in the head and chest.

The sheriff's office says, when they arrived to the scene they found Case suffering gunshot wounds. Deputies and EMTs began to render service but were unsuccessful. The Coroner's Office says Case was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.

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Investigators say the man responsible for Officer Case's death is 65-year-old Smitty Oliver Melton. The sheriff's office says Smitty Melton fled the murder scene driving a black Chevrolet S-10 or GMC Sonoma. He was arrested Thursday evening in Aiken County.

Smitty Oliver Melton

This was an emotional incident for Richmond County officials; hearing that one of their own, who was unarmed, had been shot and killed.

"These people are out here to help the public. And they answer calls for service on a daily basis. And it’s really just a tragic loss," says Richmond County Sheriff's Office Sgt. William McCarthy.

An event so tragic - both city officials and citizens came out to express their condolences.

"It’s pretty disturbing to even hear that a man was shot down the way he was shot down. I heard he was shot in the face and the chest. And I don’t know where the third shot went. But I hope that they catch him," says community activist Ray Montana.

FOX 54 later learned from county commissioners that the victim is a Code Enforcement Office for the City of Augusta. The officer was reportedly at the residence to write the homeowner a ticket. Commission Clerk Lina Bonner informed the Richmond County Commission about Officer Case's death via email at around 10:33 a.m.:

Director Rob Sherman just called into the office and ask that I notify you of this unfortunate news; one of Code Enforcement Officers was shot and killed this morning. 

He is at the scene and will provide additional information to you periodically.

Lena J. Bonner
Clerk of Commission
Office of the Clerk of Commission

District 1 Commissioner Bill Fennoy tells FOX 54 the City of Augusta may need to go in a different direction with Code Enforcement; they may need a way to protect themselves while on the job. "It’s a sad day. One of our own was gunned down while doing his job," said District 1 Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

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