MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The State Law Enforcement Division and Myrtle Beach Police Department released information that reveals the final moments of Myrtle Beach Police Ofc. Jacob Hancher’s life after he was shot while responding to a call last year.
SPECIAL COVERAGE | Remembering Myrtle Beach Ofc. Jacob Hancher
Hancher and Ptl. Andrew Wangstad were the first to respond to a domestic call on Oct. 3 in the 400 block of 14th Avenue South when shots were fired. Hancher was killed as a result of the shooting, while Wangstad, was shot in the leg.
After the shooting, authorities said the suspect, identified as 20-year-old John Derek Aycoth of Myrtle Beach, was shot and killed by officers during the shootout.
*WARNING: We want to warn our viewers, that the details of the SLED investigation are disturbing*
In the SLED investigation, Hancher’s body camera shows that he arrived at the scene at 9:53 p.m. in his patrol vehicle. Wangstad arrived in a golf cart seconds after Hancher, according to the report.
Hancher walked toward the home, then one minute later, shots were fired and Hancher went to the ground in between two vehicles that were parked in the front yard of the home.
According to Wangstad, about 27 shots were heard.
“He made noises that sounded as though he was in pain,” the SLED report stated. “While he appeared to be lying on his back, and gunshots were still audible, he unholstered his weapon, and fired eight rounds toward the window.”
Wangstad told SLED agents that about 20 shots were heard during this second round of gunfire.
Then all gunshots stopped and Hancher’s body camera was faced to the sky and other officers could be heard communicating in the background about the location of the shooter.
*Dashcam footage from Hancher can be seen below. WARNING: This footage may be disturbing to some viewers. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.*
Then at 9:55 p.m., Aycoth walked into the view of Hancher’s body camera, pointed a rifle toward Hancher, fired one round and then walked out of view.
At around 10:06 p.m., gunshots were heard again and lasted for 10 seconds and officers could be heard saying “shots fired” and “he’s down,” in regards to Aycoth.
But it wasn’t until 11:01 p.m. when Hancher’s body was discovered on the ground.
“Someone could be heard saying, ‘Got an officer down,’ and MBPD SWAT members came into view of the camera. They picked Pfc. Hancher up, carried him to an armored vehicle and placed him on a metal stretcher,” the SLED report states.
According to the SLED investigation, MBPD Pfc. Marion Winner, who arrived at the scene later, said he and Pfc. Drew Fox saw a second body on the ground between two vehicles in the front yard but didn’t know who it was.
“They were told over the radio by MBPD Capt. Eric DiLorenzo to hold their positions and that MBPD SWAT was responding,” according to the report. “He (Winner) stayed behind the MBPD vehicle until the SWAT team arrived in an armored vehicle.”
An autopsy report was released on Hancher where his cause of death was listed as four gunshot wounds to the head, torso and left leg.
The SLED report shows that several officers had fired toward Aycoth when he exited the house and that a single gunshot to his head killed him.
SLED’s summary report sent to 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson states that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Myrtle Beach police officers. Richardson also determined that there is no evidence to support criminal prosecution in the officer-involved shooting.
“The Officers performed with courage and professionalism during extremely difficult circumstances,” the SLED summary report states. “In the midst of the barrage of well-aimed rifle rounds, they returned fire in defense of themselves and the residents in the area.”
SLED also called the shots fired upon Hancher an ambush.
“Myrtle Beach Police Private First Class Jacob Hancher had been ambushed and murdered by John Aycoth, the same man shooting the same weapon at the uniformed Police Officers,” SLED stated. “He was responding to a call for help from a citizen of his community. A citizen and a community that he swore an oath to protect, and did in fact protect to his mortal end.”