Memorial service planned for fallen Myrtle Beach Officer Joe McGarry

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Tuesday marks the 13th anniversary of the death of Myrtle Beach Police officer Joseph McGarry, shot and killed in the line of duty December 29, 2002.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department posted a memorial to Officer McGarry on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon saying, “Gone, but never forgotten by your brothers and sisters in blue!”

The Officer Down Memorial Page documents how Officer McGarry, along with other officers, were investigating a suspicious person just after midnight the morning of December 29, 2002. The officers asked a group of four to step outside the restaurant on North Kings Highway when one of the men pulled a .45 caliber handgun and shot Officer McGarry in the head.

Officer McGarry’s partner returned fire, shooting the killer in the leg. 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.

A memorial service is planned for Officer McGarry Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Police Department by the waterfront office, according to a Facebook post by Police Officer Joe McGarry Foundation Facebook page.

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