Myrtle Beach police call Officer Hancher’s death an ambush as new video is released to public

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach Police Department is calling the October shooting that killed one officer and injured another an ambush.

MBPD released new video in the case Friday as SLED’s investigation report became public.

Officer Jacob Hancher arrived at 9:53 p.m. Oct. 3 at the house on the coroner of 14th Avenue South and Yaupon Drive, where he ended up being shot and killed.

News13 is choosing not to show that part of the video due to its graphic nature.

Hancher approached the house and entered the driveway, when SLED says John Aycoth shot him multiple times less than 10 seconds later.

“This is an ambush,” Master Cpl. Tom Vest said. “The person who intended to do this did exactly what he set out to do and he took Officer Hancher away from the people who care about him the most.”

After falling to the ground in between two cars, Hancher fired his gun eight times. A few seconds later, Officer Andrew Wangstad was shot in the left leg. A third officer on scene a minute later saw Wangstad and cared for him before he was rushed to a hospital. He has since returned to MBPD.

“It’s challenging to come back,” Vest said. “It’s a traumatic experience. These officers survived.”

However, MPBD said no other officers could see it was Hancher on the ground. About 12 minutes after he was shot, Aycoth opened fire again. Several officers fired back, killing him.

Police said it wasn’t clear Aycoth was dead, so officers held their positions until a SWAT team arrived, which found Hancher at 11:01 p.m., more than an hour after he was first shot.

“That is the intent of the SWAT team,” Vest said. “They have special tactics, special training [and] special equipment to better handle fire like that from a rifle.”

Hancher was pronounced dead at Grand Strand Medical Center.

Aytoch’s ex-girlfriend told SLED investigators he said “call the police and I’ll start firing,” when she ran from the house about 30 minutes before Hancher arrived.

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