Saluda County, SC – Saluda County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Corporal Dale Hallman was killed in the line of duty on Thursday night, as he and his K9 partner were responding to assist fellow officers.
According to the SCSO, deputies were pursuing an armed suspect, who fled into a wooded area with a child, and requested the assistance of the Bloodhound Tracking Team and a K9 officer, WIS-TV reported.
Cpl. Hallman, 30, and K9 Copper were traveling to the scene, when they were involved in a single-vehicle crash on Pen Creek Road.
The corporal was rushed to Self-Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injures.
K9 Copper was located at the scene, and was expected to be fine.
The suspect whom deputies’ had been pursuing ultimately released the child, and was taken into custody without further incident.
He had two stepsons, and was expecting a baby daughter.
“Happy New year everyone!” Cpl. Hallman posted on Jan. 1. “2018 is going to be a great year as me and my amazing wife welcome our baby girl to the world and we make many more memories with our boys and other family and friends!”
He also leaves behind his mother, father, and sister.
In addition to serving as a law enforcement officer and K9 handler, Cpl. Hallman was also a lieutenant with the County Fire Service, according to a fundraising account supported by the SCSO, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Association, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program.
The SCSO described him as a “great guy” who was “wonderful with dogs,” WIS-TV reported.
He was also awarded the Medal of Valor for his outstanding service to the citizens of Saluda County in 2016, according to the fundraising page.
"As Sheriff, I would like to ask everyone to please lift up the Hallman family, along with the Saluda County Sheriff's Office with your prayers at this time," Sheriff John Perry wrote in a statement, according to WIS-TV.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Saluda County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Dale Hallman, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.