Citizens honored for saving S.C. cop’s life in attack caught on video
Without their help, the outcome could have been much worse, police said
By Suzie Ziegler
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. — A group of good Samaritans were honored this week for saving the life of a police officer in August 2020. Without their help, the outcome could have been much worse, according to WYFF.
The violent attack happened while Officer Erin Hansen was working an extra shift at Walmart. Hansen was off duty, but says he was still wearing a police uniform. Security video shows a man tackle Hansen to the ground before hitting him repeatedly. According to police, the attack knocked Hansen unconscious and left him with a fractured skull, broken nose and busted eardrum.
Video shows several shoppers intervening seconds after the attack begins.
"We had citizens who not only said something but did something, they prevented him from further injury and possibly the loss of his life,” said Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson. “For that, Officer Hansen and his family and his Spartanburg Police Department family are eternally grateful.”
According to Thompson, a total of nine shoppers helped stop the attack. Four of the good Samaritans were honored Monday for going above and beyond.
"I said I can't just watch this thing, so I went in again and started slugging him with my fists,” said William Strong, one of the citizens who stepped in. “And then those other citizens joined me.”
The suspect, 23-year-old James Cunningham, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced this week to decades in prison, according to the report.