Police Officer Joseph John McGarry

Police Officer Joseph John McGarry

Myrtle Beach Police Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, December 29, 2002

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Joseph John McGarry

Police Officer Joseph McGarry was shot and killed when he and his partner investigated a suspicious person on North Kings Highway at 12:30 am.

The officers were inside a restaurant when they observed a group of suspicious people. They asked the four to step out of the restaurant to talk to one of them. As they were talking to a male, he pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and opened fire, striking Officer McGarry in the head. Officer McGarry's partner returned fire, striking the suspect in the leg.

The suspect and a female friend fled the scene but were later apprehended. The man was charged with murder, resisting arrest, and assault. The male subject was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

In 2008 the South Carolina State Supreme Court overturned the death penalty decision. They said the jurors should have been given the option of convicting the suspect of voluntary manslaughter.

Officer McGarry had served with the Myrtle Beach Police Department for four years and was assigned to the Street Crimes Unit.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 263

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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I miss you so much and I love you so much. I think about you everyday and it breaks my heart everyday that you had to make the ultimate sacrifice. You had such a big heart and I think of you every time I see my kids or pray,hoping that your looking down at me with your laugh and smile knowing that I do my best, and when I think of the best, I think of you . I know your in a better place. You made the best of everything and this world is better for it. I get upset and sad that god took you to soon , I know it’s selfish of me but it’s true. I miss playing basketball and all the unconditional time we spent together when I was a kid, no matter what was going on at that moment you put whatever down just to play ball with me because your the best cousin anyone could ask for and you still are . Even as a kid I knew you were special . You made me feel special. When I think of uncle joe I get choked up and scared because when I hear uncle and aunties voice all’s I think of is you and it breaks my heart and I cry,and I know their heart will always be broken because you were the world to them and so many and we all miss you dearly .honestly I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with my emotions as it never gets easier ,only harder and I cry. I cry a lot. A lot of people don’t understand because they never knew you, but if they did they would.Your in my heart always. You paved a path for so many including me to be a better man. I remember when we were at dads award ceremony for getting 3rd place in sailing and you sat across from me and gave me a gold pocket watch with a train on it because as a kid I was obsessed with polar express. I still keep it close by my heart everyday and talk with my kids about you at least once a day and how unconditional you were with the brightest smile in the room,and I know you look after us.im not going to lie , it’s still as hard to not cry as it was when dad first called me to tell me the news as we both of broke down crying like babies not wanting to believe what I was hearing and what he was saying.I know he misses you so much too. I went on to get my criminal justice degree to help others and you played a giant role in that besides wanting to help others,and I’m lucky if I’m half the man you were as I’ve made so many mistakes yet I’m still here knowing that you were looking out for me. You had to have been, it’s the only logical explanation that allows me to follow my dreams and turn them into reality. My life’s not perfect and still a long scary journey,but just the thought of you and still hearing your laugh in my head makes it better. I cry so much but I know your in a better place. It really never gets easier. You have made so many lives better from the love you shared from your soul and your heart as it was enormous. I wish we had more time together. It’s so hard for so many including myself . The love you had was contagious and I consider myself lucky for the time we had before god took you home .i love you Joey and one day I’ll see you again, and when I do I will hug you and never let go.i know you look after my twin sons and I’m grateful.i still find it hard to muster up courage for many things.. i hope to see uncle joe one day in South Carolina and to take my kids and show them how awesome you were and why it’s so important to never forget .I’ll never forget how good you were to me and the unconditional love you had. I get choked up typing this but only because my heart breaks like it did the very first time.ill always remeber how you had auntie and uncle’s voice saying “hey little Wayne .” Thank you for never judging but always staying loving and taking the time regardless of knowing my childhood was rough but always making it better .Your the best cousin I could have asked for and truly blessed . Keep playing ball Joey, and one day we will play together again.
Love always and forever ,
Your cousin,
Little Wayne

Wayne Joseph Miguel

December 25, 2018

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