Community gathers for prayer circle at Florence Regional Airport in honor of fallen officer

Prayer circle for officer Winkeler at Florence Regional Airport

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Staff at the Florence Regional Airport invited the community to join them in a prayer circle on Friday to honor a fallen officer.

The airport held a circle of prayer in the lobby of the main terminal where a memorial has been set up for officer Jackson Winkeler.

Florence community mourns the loss of the officer fatally shot at Florence Regional Airport
Florence community mourns the loss of the officer fatally shot at Florence Regional Airport (Source: Emily Wakeman)

Authorities said the 26-year-old was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Sunday at the airport.

James Bell, 37, from Homestead, Florida was arrested in connection with the shooting. He is charged with murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and armed robbery with a deadly weapon.

Winkeler had just joined the department at the airport in August 2019. Along with being an officer, he also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Dillon County Fire Department in Latta.

Firefighter Matthew Rowell said Winkeler taught him to be a responsible firefighter and it’s great to see people come out and remember him.

“It meant a lot, it really did. Just to see the community come out and actually sit here and pray for Jackson was really good,” Rowell said.

He said he wants people to know about Winkeler’s sense of humor and said everything about the fallen officer was amazing.

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