'We all love Jacob’: Community says a final goodbye to Myrtle Beach Ofc. Jacob Hancher

Two officers stand beside the casket of Myrtle Beach Police Ofc. Jacob Hancher ahead of the...
Two officers stand beside the casket of Myrtle Beach Police Ofc. Jacob Hancher ahead of the start of Friday's funeral service at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.(Source: WMBF News)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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Myrtle Beach police PFC Jacob Hancher
Myrtle Beach police PFC Jacob Hancher((Source: Serve & Connect via Facebook))

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach community came together Friday to bid a final farewell to a police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

A public funeral service was held Friday afternoon at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for Myrtle Beach Police Ofc. Jacob Hancher. He was responding to a domestic violence call on Oct. 3 when he was fatally shot.

“On Saturday, Oct. 3, on our waterfront a call for service came out and there was at least two lives in jeopardy. Jacob heard the call, he heard the details and without hesitation he responded,” MBPD Lt. Mike Guthinger said during Friday’s service. “He saved a life that day. He put other people in front of himself.”

Before the public funeral the family had a private service at St James Catholic Church in Conway. Afterwards, first responders met at Horry Georgetown Technical College, where Hancher attended beginning in 2015.

People from campus were outside to salute him, as he was escorted him back to Myrtle Beach. The line of emergency vehicles continued from U.S. 501 to the U.S. 17 Bypass and down Mr. Joe White Avenue before returning to the convention center.

Many supporters held their hands over their heart and drivers honked their horns as the procession went by. Myrtle Beach Police Department spokesperson Cpl. Tom Vest said the support they’ve seen from the community and their brothers and sisters in law enforcement not only Friday but throughout the last week has meant the world to the MBPD.

“It means a lot to us and it means a lot to his family that so many people have come out today (Friday) and one unique thing about Jacob was that he was a firefighter and a police officer, and behind me are representatives of the best of both fields,” Vest said.

“He was intentional by devoting himself to others and by showing this world that love can make a difference," added MBPD Chief Amy Prock.

At the convention center, colleagues offered remarks on Hancher’s service to the community.

“I want you to look around this entire room and know that he is living with each and every one of us now, watching from above, trying to keep us safe," said Myrtle Beach Police Patrolman Justin Barrick. "We all love Jacob, and he will certainly be missed. Jacob and I made plans for this weekend to go out and have a couple of beers. Whether he likes it or not, he’s still coming. We’re going to pull up a seat, and we’re going to buy him a beer, and we’re going to have that drink.”

Hancher’s service outside of the community was also noted by those who gathered to remember him.

“He was a missionary with his church on a recent trip to Honduras. There, he was known as being the strong one that could move or lift anything," said Lt. Jade Roy with SLED. "When all the heavy lifting was done, he would sit with the village children and play with the orphans in their playground. Although his time on earth has ended, his life will continue for eternity in heaven, and his legacy will remain ingrained in all of us.”

Several state and local officials were also in attendance at Friday’s service, including Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, as well as state lawmakers Sens. Greg Hembree and Luke Rankin as well as Reps. Russell Fry, Heather Ammons Crawford and Kevin Hardee.

Early Saturday morning, Hancher will be brought back to his hometown of Waldorf, Md., where he will be laid to rest.

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