Monday, April 18, 2016

A Wounded Officer: What Were Your First Thoughts?

What’s the first thing you thought when you heard a Florence police officer was down. Our first thought was, “I hope it wasn’t XXXXX XXXXX.” That’s not wishing bad luck on any other officers; it’s simply hoping that our friends are protected and safe. We’re sure many of our readers, some as far away as California or Nova Scotia or Paris, thought similar thoughts.

Information at the time of the shooting indicated the wounded officer was alert and responding to treatment. Information later in the morning confirmed that Officer Brian Berry was an extremely lucky man. At that point, we saw no reason not to publish the officer’s name before the FPD made an official statement. The TimesDaily did likewise, a few hours later.

We’re sure many breathed easier that their friend/loved one was not involved; it also allowed those who were so inclined to pray specific prayers for Officer Berry’s continued well being.

At the time we published the wounded officer’s name, we did not have the name of the shooter. We would not have published it if we had, since we had no way of knowing whom in his family had been notified and whom had not. There’s a tremendous difference in publishing the name of a hero who’s going to be coming home to his family and publishing the name of a man who attempted to kill that hero and later took his own life.

Officer Berry, we thank God that you were patrolling the Cox Creek Parkway area early yesterday and that you are now home safe. Additional thanks to all those who labor on all local forces and watch over us while we sleep.


After the shooter’s name was published on two other sites, we had one reader inform us that we shouldn’t link the information. No, obviously such things are always better kept quiet so that as many conspiracy theories can be generated as possible.

Our sympathies to the family of Matthew Hall McCravy.

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