Myrtle Beach police officer Joe McGarry killed 17 years ago Sunday

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A Myrtle Beach police officer died in the line of duty 17 years ago Sunday.

The city posted a tribute on their Facebook to Officer Joe McGarry, who died Dec. 29, 2002.

Police say McGarry along with other officers were investigating a suspicious person just after midnight Dec. 29. That’s when they say a man pulled a .45 caliber handgun and shot Officer McGarry in the head.

Luzenski Allen Cottrell was later arrested, convicted of murder and sentenced to death in April 2005, but the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2008 because the jury was not allowed to consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

A second trial for Cottrell in September 2014 ended the same as the first as a jury of 12 convicted the gunman of murdering Officer McGarry and sentenced the killer to death.

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” the city wrote online. “We remember Myrtle Beach Police Officer First Class Joseph McGarry, who was killed in the line of duty on this date: December 29, 2002.”

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