ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - “A bad dream.”
That’s how the Atlantic Beach Police Chief Quentin Robinson is describing the day he lost his good friend and fellow brother in blue, Horry County Police Lance Cpl. Melton Gore.
Officials say Gore was struck and killed Tuesday night along Highway 22 while picking up debris along the roadway. He served as an environmental officer with HCPD for over 20 years.
REMEMBERING HCPD LANCE CPL. MELTON GORE
Robinson described his friendship with officer Gore as a brotherhood.
“He was one of the first people that talked to me and welcomed me to the town,” he said. “Every time I use to [drive] around the town, he would wave me down and just to talk to me. He’d ask me how everything was going.”
Robinson said he first met Gore about five years ago after just moving to Atlantic Beach as a sergeant. He said Gore lived in town and was one of the first new faces he met.
Robinson explained that Gore, known to many as “Fox,” was the type of man that wore and smile. He said Fox always found a way to see the goodness in everyone around him.
“He always had a smile on his face,” said Robinson. “He loved to cook. He loved Atlantic Beach and always wanted to make the [town] look better, [somewhere to] be proud of, [have] people to respect it. At the same time, he loved Horry County Police Department, that’s where he worked. He loved everybody. I never heard nothing bad about him. He cared about me, the town, everybody that he came in contact with. He was probably one of the greatest men I ever met in Atlantic Beach and I will always remember that.”
Robinson said the last time talked with Gore was in early December.
“I was at our complex getting something out and he pulled up,” he said. “We talked for a couple of minutes. I hate to say it, I think that was our last time speaking. I told one of my [other] officers, I don’t even think I talked to him in 2021. That hurt me even more because we was so close. He would call me, just to check on me and see how I was doing and if I needed anything. So the first of December was the last I spoke with him.”
Robinson says part of their conversation turned to cooking.
“He loved to cook,” said Robinson. “We talked about cooking out for the [entire ] Horry County law enforcement. It was something we were going to do this year. He loved his Horry County law enforcement.”
The chief described that moment earlier this week when he found out his friend had passed away - a day Robinson says he can never forget.
“I was on my way home [when] one of my officers called me and asked me if I heard the news,” he’s said. “He told me Fox Gore was gone. I felt like my chest had caved in. All I could do was [head] to the scene [of the crash]. I couldn’t believe it at first. I thought it was a bad dream.”
Right now, the chief said he’s grieving the loss of his friend.
“I know God takes people for a reason,” Robinson said. “[God] takes the best of them. He probably got one of the best so far [Gore].”
For now, Robinson said he’ll be reflecting on the memories he shared with his friend.
“We had some great and funny conversation,” he said. “I got to know the real him and he got to know the real me. If you ever talked to him, you would always a memory you’d always keep to your heart. And there would always be this bond between you and him. I just want to let his family know, we’re here for them, the Town of Atlantic Beach and the police department. We feel your pain and we’re here for you. Anything you need, we’re here for [you]. Gore [did a lot] of stuff for the town. And he did it free of charge, just because he loved the town that much.”
Robinson says Gore’s legacy will also be remembered throughout the Horry County community.
“Fox, [his job] was a calling to him because he loved his job,” he said. “What he was doing that night, I can see the smile on his face when he stopped and was doing his job. He always had a smile on his face so [I’m sure] he had a smile when he removed the debris from the roadway. He was a great man. If you never met him, it was your loss.”