Family says would-be robber suffered from mental illness

Waccamaw Outdoor Supply
Waccamaw Outdoor Supply

LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WECT) – A young man was shot just before noon Wednesday at a bait and tackle store in Lake Waccamaw.  He died later that night.

Authorities are still investigating the shooting, which occurred during an attempted robbery at Waccamaw Outdoor Supply shop off Sam Potts Highway.

According to Officer Scott Hyatt, a 20-year-old with a mental illness tried to rob the store.  Hyatt said the young man does not have a criminal history, and there's no evidence he was on drugs.

Family members told Hyatt the young man had mental issues for about a year.

The store's owner, Charles Hickman, tried to get the young man to put down a sledge hammer and fired two shots in the air when the 20-year-old didn't comply.  Hickman said he continued to warn the man, but shot him in the head when he didn't comply.

Several people in the community, including the store owner's son, said someone tried to rob Waccamaw Outdoor Supply last week.

Police believe the robber was the same person who was shot Wednesday, because he had a small sledge hammer and a bag.  They believe he was trying to steal guns.

Currently, police are not anticipating pressing charges against the store owner.

The man who was shot was initially taken to Columbus Regional Health Systems and was then transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Police are not releasing the name of the shooting victim until they speak with family members.

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