Monday was bittersweet for the Pee Dee community. Bitter because hundreds of people were in Florence to remember an officer killed in the line of duty. But the day was also sweet because through this tragedy, the Florence community has come together and shown support for our men and women in blue.
Law enforcement officers from near and far traveled to Florence to say their final goodbyes. Darlington Police, North Charleston Police, and Hampton, VA Police are just a few of the dozens of departments present.
An officer with the Sumter Police Department explained why so many departments decided to show up for Sgt. Terrence Carraway’s memorial service.
“Because it could have been me. it could have been one of my co-workers.. so to show our support and let them know we’re here,” said Tyshica Gayle with Sumter PD.
Terrence Carraway dedicated 30 years of his life to the Florence community, making an impact on fellow law enforcement officers and residents.
One resident recapped his run-ins with Sgt. Carraway.
David Dixon explained, “He was a good officer. not just dealing with crime but helping the children.. anything he could do for you.. he would.”
Officer Gayle spent time with Carraway at the police academy.
“He just had a fun loving personality .very humble.. always cracked jokes.. He loved chicken wings. I remember him talking about chicken wings. He was just a fun loving person.”
Flowers and balloons have grown exponentially on the patrol car put out in Carraway’s honor. It’s just one way the community is thanking the sergeant for his service to the Pee Dee.
Blue Knights Chapter 5 was also in attendance at Carraway’s memorial service. The former law enforcement officers talked about the importance of support when a tragedy hits so close to home.
John Flynn said, “This has been a scene that’s been played out all too many times and when you first hear it you’re traumatized like anybody else. So we came here as a club to show our support to the family and police officers in Florence.”
Several of Carraway’s friends, co-workers, and family reflected on the man they call a perfect officer highlighting Carraway’s accomplishments including earning the title of technical sergeant and outstanding airmen while serving in the Air Force.
74-year-old Fred Hopkins is facing 1 count of murder for Sgt. Carraway’s death and 6 counts of attempted murder for the other officers injured.