Memorial held for Myrtle Beach officer killed in the line of duty

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – On Monday night, a memorial was held for a Myrtle Beach police officer who gunned down in the line of duty 11 years ago.

Myrtle Beach Police officer Joe McGarry, 28, was shot and killed in a parking lot along Kings Highway on December 28, 2002. Eleven years have passed since McGarry's death, but his memory continues to be remembered year after year.

McGarry was with the police department for four years when he was killed while confronting a possible suspect outside a Myrtle Beach doughnut shop, according to police.

The suspect in McGarry's murder, Luzenski Allen Cottrell, was taken into custody the night of the crime. On April 6, 2005, Cottrell was found guilty for killing McGarry and faced the death penalty with charges of murder, assault with intent to kill, grand larceny and resisting arrest.

Following his conviction, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned the ruling in 2008, saying the jury did not consider a possible verdict of voluntary manslaughter. According to public records, another case against Cottrell is still pending.

The memorial took place at 5:30 p.m. at the memorial garden at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center in Myrtle Beach. The Fallen Officer Memorial Park was also dedicated on Monday.

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