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Family of fallen Myrtle Beach officer says community has been a ‘pillar of strength’

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 4:25 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - During this National Police Week, nearly 400 fallen heroes from around the country are being honored with special services. That includes Myrtle Beach Police Officer Jacob Hancher, who was shot and killed last year while on the job in an ambush-style attack.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Remembering Myrtle Beach Ofc. Jacob Hancher

Cecelia Williams’ last memory of her big brother is him helping the family fix a flat tire.

“I am very proud of him…” said Cecelia Williams, Hancher’s sister. “I loved him.”

Suzanne Williams says her son, Myrtle Beach Police Officer Jacob Hancher, always had a heart for public service.

“Not only was he involved with the church, but even on his days off, he would work as a volunteer firefighter and continue to give back to the community,” said Suzanne Williams, Hancher’s mom.

Last October, while responding to a domestic dispute, a gunman opened fire, killing him and injuring another officer. For National Police Week, Hancher’s name was etched in to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall for fallen heroes.

Hancher’s mom takes comfort in this quote found at the DC memorial that says it’s not about how these officers died that made them heroes but how they lived.

“He was such an important part of this community. He had worked for that department for five years, much of it as a community service officer, where he spent so much time getting to know the people of the community and working hands on with the people of the community,” said Williams.

Master Corporal Tom Vest and Patrolman First Class Drew Fox say Hancher was a positive person who left a lasting impression.

“He was a character that brought a lot to everywhere he worked and everybody he worked with,” said Myrtle Beach Police Department Master Corporal Tom Vest.

“It was just great to see someone at the police department that was always happy, was always smiling,” said Myrtle Beach Police Department Patrolman First Class Drew Fox.

As the nation commemorates National Police Week, Hancher’s mom shared this photo taken just last week with the family of fallen Myrtle Beach Police Officer Joe McGarry.

The families of fallen Myrtle Beach Police Officers Jacob Hancher and Joe McGarry come together...
The families of fallen Myrtle Beach Police Officers Jacob Hancher and Joe McGarry come together to honor National Police Week.(Source: Suzanne Williams)

Back in 2002, McGarry was shot and killed while trying to speak with a murder suspect. Before Hancher’s death, he told his mother that he had the honor of riding McGarry’s motorcycle.

Hancher’s family and the Myrtle Beach Police Department say the support from the community has been incredible through these tough times.

“The department has been wonderful with how they’ve supported us, and his peers have been wonderful with how they’ve supported us, so to feel how the community has reached out to us has been a pillar of strength for us,” said Williams.

Hancher’s family and friends plan to travel up to DC in October to attend the annual ceremony to honor fallen police officers. The service is scheduled to happen just a few days after the one-year anniversary of his death.

Supervisor of Videography Timothy Knapp, Photojournalist/Editor Tyler Smith, and Multimedia Journalist Jillian Angeline contributed to this report.

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