NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Family, fellow officers in blue and others said their final goodbyes to fallen officer North Myrtle Beach Police Sgt. Gordon Best on Friday.
Funeral services for Best began at 2 p.m. at the Alabama Theatre in the North Myrtle Beach area. It was proceeded by a procession that began at the Goldfinch Funeral Home in Conway at 12 p.m. and ended at Alabama Theatre for the funeral.
The public was not allowed in the service but was welcome to set up along the procession route.
Best was killed in a car crash while responding to a call for service early in the morning on New Year’s Day.
Over the past week, members of the community have expressed testaments about who Best was. He was known for being a loving father, husband and friend.
“He was a very good, all-around person. He was one of those, ‘Yes sir, yes ma’am guys,’ you know. He was very likable. Everyone knew Gordon, everybody liked him. He had many friends,” Loris High School Assistant Principal Nate Bellamy said.
People lined the street leading up to the Alabama Theatre and quietly saluted when Best’s hearse passed by. Many waited outside throughout the service, some waving American and Thin Blue Line flags.
While the procession had plenty of support there, Best also had an audience in Conway at the funeral home where the procession started.
Albeit, they were a little smaller.
A group of daycare children from First Baptist Church filled the sidewalk.
“We decided to bring them out today to show that a fallen hero has left us and show respect,” said First Baptist Chef Teresa Bellamy.
The church is right next to the Goldfinch Funeral Home, where Best’s funeral procession began.
Bellamy and the other counselors brought the children down the sidewalk a bit during recess so they could watch as law enforcement left for the Alabama Theatre.
“It’ll grow up in them,” said Bellamy. “They’ll grow up to respect the law officers and people who protect us and have respect.”
Bellamy told the children all about Best and how he served his community and country.
She said many of the children dream of one-day becoming police officers, so seeing that procession could wind up being the first step.
Meanwhile, those close to Best gathered at the Alabama Theatre to support the family and department.
“I actually worked with Gordon Sr. and Rene, his mother, at the City of North Myrtle Beach 30 years ago,” said Tracie Ross. “So, we were pregnant at the same time.”
Tracie Ross’s son, Matthew, was born two months after Best, and also joined the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, which is why hearing the news of Gordon’s passing was particularly shocking for her.
“Matthew was just getting ready to go to Gordon’s shift on January 18th,” said Ross.
Ross made black and blue bows all week long for families in the department and to hang around the city as a way of showing her support.
“They’re just broken, so they’re going to need our support way after today,” said Ross.