AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - A 26-year-old man was arrested Saturday and charged with murder in two states after police say he killed his girlfriend in Georgia, and then fatally shot a South Carolina police officer responding to a report of suspicious activity, authorities said.
Police in South Carolina said Joshua Tremaine Jones was charged with murder Saturday in the death of Aiken police Master Cpl. Sandra Rogers.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety said officers were responding Saturday morning to a report of suspicious activity involving two cars, and that Rogers was shot after stopping one of the vehicles.
Jones was arrested hours later at a residence in Batesburg.
Saturday evening, a visibly moved Aiken Public Safety director Charles Barranco announced that Rogers had died at an area hospital. The Aiken native had spent a nearly 28-year career with the department; she was 49.
With police officials standing behind him, Barranco told reporters that Jones faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
In neighboring Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle reported that Jones also faces murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Cayce Vice. Police found her body in her apartment Saturday morning after she didn't show up for work; she had been shot in the head.
Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles told the newspaper that the agency had obtained warrants for murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
A phone message left late Saturday for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office was not immediately returned.
The Aiken public safety department issued a statement Saturday evening praising Rogers as "an invaluable street cop who exemplified the model of a Public Safety Officer," according to WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C.
"Master Corporal Rogers was a highly skilled investigator and senior patrol officer on her shift," the statement said. "Please keep the Rogers family and Aiken Public Safety in your prayers as once again we deal with this tragic loss."
Another Aiken police officer, Scotty Richardson, was shot and killed on Dec. 20.