HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Horry County Police Department announced that one of their own has died in the line of duty.
Kelly Moore, the spokesperson for Horry County, said Horry County police LCpl. Melton Gore was killed Tuesday night while performing his duties outside of his vehicle near the intersection of Highway 22 and Highway 31.
Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said during a news briefing hours later that the preliminary investigation shows Gore was out removing debris from the roadway when he was hit by another car. Hill added that it was typical of Gore to do that because he wanted to make sure no one would be hurt by the debris in the roadway.
“He cared about this community. Most people may have passed that debris by, swerved around it, but not Fox. He wanted to make sure nobody was hurt by it,” Hill said.
Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner said that Gore, who was known as Fox by those close to him, had served with HCPD for over 20 years in the Environmental Services Unit. He was 57 years old at the time of his death.
“Our hearts are breaking tonight in the wake of this tragic news,” said Gardner.
Randy Webster, Horry County’s assistant county administrator for public safety, offered his condolences to Gore’s family and also his family at HCPD.
“These are very tragic events when they take place and they’re sometimes hard to work through. We have a good team,” Webster said.
Hill added that it still hasn’t sunk in that he has lost another officer.
“As chief of police, I never thought I would be here again announcing the death of one of our officers,” Hill said.
Hill talked about Gore and said that the officer had just visited with him just to say, ‘Hello.’ The chief of police added that Gore was “one heck of a cook.” Hill said that during his visit, Gore said that he would cook for the chief.
“I will never forget the brief conversation we had today. When he said I can’t wait to cook for you again. Unfortunately, that will never happen,” Hill remembered.
Hill said that he met with Gore’s family and told them that they “would surround them with love and support during this difficult time.”
The chief of police also spoke about the driver who hit Gore and told the community to also keep that person in their prayers.
“I’m pretty sure that person didn’t start off today thinking they were going to kill a police officer, so our hearts and prayers go out to that driver,” Hill said. “It’s a tough time for the Horry County Police Department. We’re going to be grieving as a family along with Gore’s family. I’m sure Fox is looking down now saying it’s going to be okay, just hang in there and just continue the business of the county.”
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and more information will be released in the coming days.
We will bring you updates as they come into our newsroom.