DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell died unexpectedly on Monday, according to officials.
Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley told News13 that Pernell died at his home on Monday, though no cause of death was immediately available.
Pernell’s office announced his death in a Facebook post shortly after 11 p. m. Monday night.
“It is with heavy hearts we announce the unexpected passing of our Sheriff, Douglas Pernell,” the post said. “Please keep the family of Sheriff Douglas Pernell and the staff of the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office in your prayers.”
Dillon Mayor Tally McColl released a statement following Pernell’s death.
“The city of Dillon as well as the entire county grieves the loss of our Sheriff Douglas Pernell,” McColl said. “Our most sincere condolences go out to Cynthia and the family. Our hearts and prayers are with you.”
Officials from other counties offered their condolences for Pernell and his family.
“Adequate words do not exist to convey my feelings about the loss of my friend and fellow sheriff,” Marion County Sheriff J. Brian Wallace said in a Facebook post. “His love for Dillon County was unrivaled. That love is what made him such a phenomenal sheriff. This is a tragic, unexpected loss for his family, his department, Dillon County, and the entire state of South Carolina. In the coming hours and days, I ask that you cover Dillon County in prayer.”
“On behalf of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, we offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, citizens and staff of Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell as he unexpectedly passed away on Monday,” the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
“Our sincere condolences are extended to Cynthia and the entire family of Sheriff Douglas ‘Humbunny’ Pernell,” Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee said on Facebook. “Sheriff Pernell served the people of Dillon County well for many years. May the Lord bless you now, and forever more.”
News13 just spoke with Pernell last week, when he talked out after a deadly shooting at a Dillon County nightclub. He served as the county’s sheriff for the past three years and as a chief deputy for seven years.