Myrtle Beach grieved this week.
So did the rest of Horry County, South Carolina and communities far from the Palmetto State’s borders.
The death of a police officer in the line of duty is always tragic, but officer Jacob Hancher touched many lives beyond those he encountered while wearing a badge. A volunteer firefighter, he worked at Station 45 in Carolina Forest. Just days before his death, he was responding to a fire with that department. He also did mission work in Honduras with his church. For a man who had just 23 years of life, he spent many of them serving others.
Witnesses have said the young officer was responding to a domestic dispute Saturday night when a gunman opened fire on him. Hancher spent his days responding to calls for service, and this one took his life.
At some point, the State Law Enforcement Division will conclude its investigation into Hancher’s death and we will know more details about what happened. City and police officials will review all the records, and there will be discussions about the case and what, if anything, could have been done differently.
Sometimes, however, tragedy is inexplicable. Sometimes all that is left is raw pain.
That’s why the community should do what it has done for the last week: comfort the grieving, mourn the loss of life and support those who place themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
There will be time to analyze findings and search for answers.
Today we mourn.