Police Chief Amy Prock announced Hancher’s death in a brief press conference Sunday, following the shooting on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Hancher, 23, was in his first year as an officer with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
Police were called for a report of a domestic violence incident about 10 p.m., and officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect, whose name has not yet been released, officials said. The suspect was also shot and killed. A second officer was shot and injured and taken to a local hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Here’s what you need to know:
PFC Hancher Was a Community Service Officer for 4 Years & a Volunteer Firefighter
Hancher had only been a police officer with the Myrtle Beach Police Department for one year, according to Prock, but he had served with the department as a community service officer for four years.
Prock said in her statement:
Today we are mourning the loss of one of our officers, PFC Jacob Hancher was killed in the line of duty while responding to a call for service. Officer Hancher has been with the Myrtle Beach Police Department for four years as a Community Service Officer and just under one year as a Police Officer. He was a dedicated public servant who upheld his oath to protect this community and made the ultimate sacrifice. Please keep Jacob, his family and his fellow officers in your prayers.
Hancher was also a volunteer firefighter with Horry South Carolina Fire Rescue.
“The #HCFR family is saddened to learn of the death of Jacob Hancher, a @MBPDSC Ofc. who also served Horry Co. as a vol. FF. Our hearts go out to Hancher’s family, friends, loved ones, law enforcement colleagues and fellow team members here at HCFR during this difficult time,” the fire department wrote on Twitter.
Hancher ‘Had a Servant’s Heart’ & Was ‘as Pure as It Came,’ His Mother Says
Serve & Connect, a South Carolina nonprofit organization designed to promote partnerships between community and police, started a fundraiser in the hours after Hancher’s death to raise funds for his family. He leaves behind a mother, Suzanne, father, Jeff, stepmother, Kathy, sisters, Cece and Alexis, and stepsiblings, Andrew, Jensen and Hope, according to Serve & Connect.
More than $1,500 was raised for the family in only one hour. The fundraiser has a goal of $7,500.
His mother told the organization her son will be remembered for his “pure heart.”
“He had a servant’s heart that he demonstrated with the police department, fire department and his church… He was as pure as it came,” she said.
Hancher Was a Member of the Catholic Church of St. James, Conway & Did Mission Work in Honduras
The Catholic Church of St. James, Conway sent out a message to its parishioners saying Hancher, a member of the church, had died. He was a missionary on the church’s 2017 trip to Honduras. The church asked for prayers for his friends, family and fellow officers.
The church wrote:
St. James family,
It is with great sadness that we must inform you of the passing of one of our own parishioners, Jacob Hancher. Jacob was a police officer in Myrtle Beach. According to the Chief of Police, Jacob was killed last night in the line of duty.
He was a dedicated public servant, who upheld his oath to protect this community, and made the ultimate sacrifice. He cared about the people that he served, served with, and absolutely loved Myrtle Beach.
Jacob was a missionary on our 2017 mission to Honduras. For those who were able to serve along side him, they learned of his kindness and selfless service.
We are deeply saddened by his passing. We ask for your prayers for his family, friends, and fellow officers who are mourning his loss.
Eternal rest grant onto him, O Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon him.
Senator Lindsey Graham Also Expressed His Condolences in the Death of Officer Hancher
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also expressed his condolences on Twitter following the death of Hancher, sharing Prock’s statement to the press. Graham wrote that he was just in South Carolina visiting police officers the day before Hancher was shot and killed.
“I was just in Myrtle Beach on Friday speaking with police officers. My prayers are with the family and friends of PFC Jacob Hancher, who was killed in the line of duty,” he wrote. “The cops need our support now more than ever. I’ve never known a more difficult time to be a police officer.
Hancher was the first Myrtle Beach officer killed in the line of duty since 2002, a department spokesperson told ABC 15.
The shooting was the 37th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2020 and the first involving Myrtle Beach Police, according to SLED. In 2019, there were 45 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, with one of those involving the Myrtle Beach Police Department.