Myrtle Beach officer killed in the line of duty remembered

A group of bicycle riders who are on their way to Washington, DC made a special stop on the Grand Strand Wednesday to honor a local police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Law Enforcement United makes the annual ride to attend National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which recognizes the services of nearly 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers who died doing their job.

It's an unfortunate circumstance the Myrtle Beach Police Department knows all too well. Officer Joseph McGarry was shot and killed in December 2002 while trying to track down a suspect.

"I knew officer McGarry very well. I have a pretty close connection because I was working the night that that had happened to him. I was involved with it, so I have a pretty close personal connection with him," Myrtle Beach Senior Patrol Officer James Kerns said.

A large group police officers, family members and several people in the community gathered for an annual ceremony to honor Officer McGarry, and the group of bicycle riders brought special meaning to Wednesday's memorial.

"They bring attention to officers who've been killed in the line of duty, the sacrifice that they have made and that their families have made and it allows them to never be forgotten," Kerns said.

Officer McGarry is the second officer to be killed in the line of duty in the history of the Myrtle Beach Police Department and Wednesday's memorial shows how the loss still impacts the community several years later.

"The community in this area has always supported law enforcement and especially in the death of Officer McGarry. You wouldn't believe the outpouring of support and emotion we had from people telling us what a good job we did and just saying thanks," Kerns said.