MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said “the sky today is symbolic of the cloud hanging over our community” following the death of police officer Jacob Hancher, who was killed Saturday night in the line of duty.
Sunday was a day of mourning across Myrtle Beach, with dozens gathering at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center for a prayer service to honor Hancher.
In a statement released Sunday morning, Bethune began with scripture from Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
“Jacob’s family, our Myrtle Beach Police Department and our entire community is grieving his senseless death. There are no words to describe the depth of pain and mixed emotions that we all are feeling,” Bethune said. “Jacob was such a kind and caring young man who truly loved his MBPD brothers and sisters, as well as the community that he passionately served for four years.”
Hancher and another Myrtle Beach officer were responding to a domestic call in the area of 14th Avenue South at 10 p.m. Saturday when shots were fired, authorities said.
Agents with the State Law Enforcement Agency said Hancher was killed in the shooting, while the second officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect, who has not been identified, was found dead after the shots were fired.
Bethune asked that out of respect for Hancher’s family that “any negative comments and speculations” be kept to ones' self.
“This is a time where our community needs to draw strength from each other and give empathy and compassion to those who are so deeply hurting,” Bethune said.