‘He was a good man’: Dillon County community mourns loss of beloved sheriff
DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An overwhelming show of support and love flooded social media on Tuesday after many learned of Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell’s death.
Pernell died on Monday at his home, according to Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley.
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Law enforcement agencies in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, along with lawmakers, offered their condolences on the sheriff’s sudden passing.
“Adequate words do not exist to convey my feelings about the loss of my friend and fellow sheriff. His love for Dillon County was unrivaled. That love is what made him such a phenomenal sheriff,” Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace wrote.
“Sheriff Douglas ‘Humbunny’ Pernell was a true leader who was devoted to serving Dillon County. I enjoyed working with him and seeing his selfless commitment to his community,” wrote Congressman Russell Fry. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, the people of Dillon County, and the law enforcement community.”
Pernell served the Dillon County community for close to 40 years. He made a lasting impact on those he served, including Cierra Fletcher, who said the sheriff was there for her when she lost her 15-year-old son, Janare Fletcher, to gun violence.
“He was a good man. He was very kind, very giving. He was there if you needed something and he could do it,” Cierra Fletcher said. “I just pray for their family and pray for their strength through this difficult time.
Those in the sheriff’s office said it was Pernell who gave Dillon County hope for a better future.
“He was the one that actually came and talked to me about joining the sheriff’s department. They needed someone like him to get them over. We was in a bad place, he came along, he made things different,” Dillon County Sheriff’s Capt. Wayne Green said.
But as the mourning continues, Cierra Fletch and Green said they want to make sure they hold onto Pernell’s legacy.
“I think that he’s still here with us because of what he taught us and what he lived for,” Green said.
Pernell’s body left the Grand Strand Medical Center on Tuesday morning following an autopsy and was escorted back to Dillon County.
His cause of death has not been released.
A visitation will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Manning Baptist Church in Dillon. A service will follow on Sunday, Aug. 13 at the Florence Civic Center at 2 p.m.
Below is the outpouring of support seen for Pernell’s family and the Dillon County community:
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