It’s impossible to find an East Florence resident who didn’t admire Sgt. Terrence Carraway.
“I miss a friend more than I miss a police officer,” William Johnson said.
Carraway died Wednesday in a police shooting at an upscale, housing development outside Florence. He and other law enforcement officers responded to Ashton Street after a 74-year-old man opened fire on Florence Sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
Six other police officers were shot and wounded in the incident. Two have been released from the hospital.
Dotted with abandoned homes, overgrown yards and simple means, East Florence is a stark difference to the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. It didn’t mean Carraway treated anyone differently.
Ten locals gathered on South Gaillard Street Friday morning and the conversation quickly turned to Carraway, a man they knew for decades. Almost daily, Carraway could be seen driving the streets and talking to residents.
It didn’t matter if Carraway stopped to talk to someone because they were in trouble or to chat, East Florence residents said he treated everyone with respect.
“He was just a good man,” Johnson said. “He kept a lot of people from going the wrong way.”
Johnson and Carraway were friends for more than 20 years. Carraway coached youth football in Darlington and Johnson in Florence. They would play each other and developed a friendship. That is the person Johnson said he’s going to miss.
Any conversation about Carraway includes mentions of his smile. For many that smile was part of his uniform as much as a gun or a badge. Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler described Carraway as a “gentle giant,” so did locals.
Three years ago, Lauren Sansbury was robbed while working at a Phoenix Mart. Carraway left the parking lot minutes before the incident. He hated he missed the robbery.
“I’m always going to come and make sure you’re OK,” Sansbury recalled Carraway saying.
After that, anytime Carraway saw her red Pontiac in the lot, he’d pull in to chat. It was about anything and everything and not about police topics.
“Even if he was having a bad day, he would brighten up your day,” she said.
Tenny Teguese and Carraway spent hours together at Camp Fear, where she worked as a cook and he volunteered. The camp is for Florence youth.
“Everybody likes him,” Teguese said, a few tears rolling down her cheeks at the memories.
Carraway connected with people no matter their background and Teguese said he took the time to know the people. With the kids, he helped them stay out of trouble and made sure they were in school.
“He was a good person,” Teguese said. “He will be missed, he’s my friend.”