SLED, MBPD release timeline, details of investigation into Officer Hancher’s death

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Authorities released details on Friday of the investigation into the shooting death of Officer Jacob Hancher, clearing police of any wrongdoing.

The timeline of events as they occurred that Saturday night, Oct. 3, in Myrtle Beach show Hancher had been lying on the ground for nearly an hour before police realized he had been shot.

Myrtle Beach police said officers were being fired on by a suspect with an AK-47 style rifle, which fired off more than 50 rounds, and once the suspect was hit they had to wait for the SWAT team to arrive.

Officer Hancher’s dash cam shows he went down at about 9:55 p.m., just a minute after stepping in front of a window at the home where the domestic violence call was made. At 10:06 p.m., more gunshots were heard and multiple people were saying, “Show me your hands,” and “Shots fired!,” and “He’s down!”

At 11:01 p.m., someone could be heard saying, “Got an officer down,” and SWAT members came into view of the camera. They picked up Officer Hancher on a stretcher and took him to an armored vehicle, the report says.

John Aycoth, 20, who police say shot Hancher, also died. Another officer, Andrew Wangstad, was shot and received non-life-threatening injuries. Some of Aycoth’s family members told SLED investigators he was hot-headed, had anger issues, and was once treated for a week in a mental hospital.

His ex-girlfriend of five months told investigators he was overly possessive and she wanted to break up with him that night. She also said Aycoth said, “call the police and I’ll start firing.”

Aycoth’s sister said he owned two semi-automatic weapons and an hunting rifle.

Here are excerpts from the timeline of Hancher’s body cam included in SLED’s investigative report:

  • 9:53:25 p.m. – Pfc. Hancher arrived, stopped, and exited his vehicle on 14th Ave. South and Yaupon Drive. A white male…walked up to Hancher and said, “he’s in the house. ” Pfc. Hancher asked, “he’s in the house where?” A female…said, “That one.”
  • 9:53:57 pm. – Hancher walked across 14th Avenue South, in front of his patrol vehicle, and toward a white house with a red door. He said over his radio, “Station 374, it’ll be across the street from Casa Del Oro.” Officer Wangstad pulled up at the intersection on a golf cart.
  • 9:54:06 p.m. – As Pfc. Hancher approached the house, he walked beside two cars, on the opposite side of the front door. A shadow figure was seen inside the house standing in front of the window and then stepping away from the window. He stopped, said, “Let’s go,” and continued walking toward the front of the house.
  • 9:54:16 p.m. – Pfc. Hancher walked past the cars and turned left toward the front door.
  • 9:54:17 p.m. – As he stepped in front of the window, gunshots were heard, and Pfc. Hancher went to the ground. He made noises that sounded as though he was in pain.
  • 9:54:21 p.m. – While he appeared to be lying on his back, and gunshots were still audible, he unholstered his weapon, and fired eight rounds toward the window.
  • 9:54:25 p.m. -All gunshots stopped and Pfc. Hancher’s BWC faced into the sky, with a tree being the only thing visible. However, officers were heard communicating about the location of the shooter.
  • 9:54:56 p.m. – Gunshots were heard again and lasted approximately eight seconds.
  • 9:55:21 p.m. – Aycorth walked into view of the body cam…
  • 10:06:10 p.m. – Someone was heard yelling, “Show me your hands,” and gunshots were heard again. The gunshots lasted approximately ten seconds. Multiple people were heard saying, “Shots fired!” and “He’s down!”
  • 11: 01:43 p. – Someone could be heard saying, “Got an officer down.” SWAT members come into view.

15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said based on the evidence, there was no wrongdoing by any officers of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

“The officers performed with courage and professionalism during extremely difficult circumstances,” Richardson said.

Hancher was the first Myrtle Beach Police Department officer to have been killed in the line of duty since 2002.

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