Allen Jacobs exemplified what it meant to be a community cop.
Friday nights, he played basketball with troubled youth at the Nicholtown Community Center, not far from where he was fatally shot.
He spoke at schools, delivered groceries to widows. He thought of one day becoming an FBI agent.
“Protect and serve were written into his DNA,” said Elizabeth Doss, a family friend.
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With black bands stripped across their badges, officers grieved for the loss of one of their own Saturday as family and friends gathered to remember the man they loved.
Jacobs, 28, a four-year veteran of the Greenville Police Department, was fatally shot Friday while chasing a 17-year-old suspect on Ackley Road in Nicholtown.
Deontea Mackey called his mother as police closed in, then turned the gun on himself, police said.
He died of a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head at 12:38 p.m. the Coroner’s Office said.
A half mile away, Jacobs lay mortally wounded as his fellow officers attempted to perform CPR. He died 20 minutes later at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
Mackey attended Wade Hampton High School from August 2014 to February 2015, said Oby Lyles, spokesman for Greenville County Schools.
Mackey’s mother declined to talk about her son, who police have described as a “confirmed and self-described gang member.”
Mackey’s grandfather, the Rev. Broadus Mackey, pastor at the Tree of Life Baptist Church, has asked for privacy.
Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said Jacobs and his partner were on patrol when they spotted Mackey on Rebecca Street and pulled over to ask Mackey about a gun he was trying to acquire.
Mackey, who pleaded guilty to strong arm robbery last month and was sentenced to 10 years suspended to 251 days time served, wasn’t allowed to posses a weapon, according to court records and Miller.
Jacobs, the son of two Bob Jones University professors, leaves two sons, ages 5 and 6, and a pregnant wife, Megan. They were expecting a daughter in July.
Saturday, flowers, balloons and hand-drawn cards covered Jacobs’ police cruiser parked in a grassy lot behind the Law Enforcement Center where he worked.
“I will miss you TANK,” one sign said. “Rest in peace brother.”
A crayon drawing of a patrol car under a rainbow read, “Thank you Mr. Jacobs for protecting us.” A Bible on the dash was opened to the 23rd Psalm.
In front of the Bible, fluttering in the wind, were an American flag and a balloon proclaiming, “It’s a girl.”
Jacobs’ mother, Tammie, said her son rose to the rank of sergeant during his 6 1/2 years in the U.S. Army and served in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Iraq War.
He was working on getting a master’s degree in business. He liked to work out, play basketball.
“He loved what he did,” Tammie said.
Doss, whose father is the pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in Travelers Rest where the Jacobs are members, said Jacobs was “adored by everyone he worked for.”
His funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Timmons Arena at Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, with burial to follow at Coleman Memorial Park in Travelers Rest.
A visitation will be 3-6 p.m. Wednesday at Charles E. Daniel Memorial Chapel, also at Furman University.
Mackey Mortuary is handling the funeral arrangements.
A fund also has been set up at TD Bank to help Jacobs’ family, and donations can be made at any branch in the city of Greenville.