COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The suspects in a fatal shooting in Horry County, S.C., are believed to have robbed a store in Chadbourn shortly afterward, according to officials.
The Quik Mart in Chadbourn was robbed just before 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. Store security footage shows two men armed with handguns entering the store and pointing firearms at two employees and a customer.
One of the employees spotted the suspects as they entered the store and ran to a back office.
"I was taking care of a customer and then, like I do always, I watch around and stuff like that and I saw a car pull up outside and through the window I saw two guys pull out and run and they had a mask and that's why I ran back to the office," the clerk said.
The masked gunmen left the store with the cash register and about $700-800.
No one was hurt in the incident.
The clerk, who didn't want his identity revealed, said he is glad everyone at the Quik Mart was ok, and was scared, but came back to the store Thursday because he had to get back to work.
"That's life, you know. Another day, so I say thanks Lord that's what I got, so I'm good. I feel better," the clerk said.
Chadbourn Police Chief Anthony Spivey said the robbery is connected to a fatal carjacking that took place in Horry County earlier Wednesday.
The Horry County Police Department said officers responded to a Food Lion located at 110 East Hwy. 9 Wednesday in reference to a carjacking and homicide.
Witnesses told police a man armed with a gun confronted a store employee in the parking lot and demanded he unlock the store.
At the same time, two other armed men confronted a person sitting in a car in the parking lot. When the man in the car tried to flee, the suspects fired into the vehicle, killing the victim.
The suspects then fled the scene in the victim's car, a gray Nissan Altima with the S.C. tag PFP-104.
Shortly afterward, two armed robberies were reported in Loris, one at the Carolina Inn and the other on a person whose car had broken down on Fox Bay Road.
Horry County officials said these robberies, as well as the one that took place in Chadbourn a short time later, were committed by the suspects in the Food Lion incident.
Agents with the FBI's South Carolina bureau have been brought in to assist Horry County law enforcement.
Spivey said his department is conducting a joint investigation with the Robeson County and Columbus County sheriff's offices and that they have solid leads on the suspects. The men may have robbed five other places Wednesday night, according to Spivey, who declined to give any further specifics regarding the case but said he believes the suspects will be caught soon.
"I'm confident this will come to an end pretty quick," Spivey said.
Spivey said the suspects in the Chadbourn robbery are believed to have robbed possibly five other places Wednesday night too.
In the meantime, Spivey urges everyone in the surrounding areas to be extra vigilant, secure their vehicles, and lock their doors.
"Whether your vehicle breaks down in the parking lot or you're in a dark area you really need to make sure you have somebody coming to you. It's not safe to be doing that," Spivey said.
If you see anything suspicious, call law enforcement or dial 911.