make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

UPDATE: Man shot during robbery has died

READ MORE: UPDATE: Man shot during robbery has died

LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) -- Store clerks in New Hanover County have become famous for protecting themselves from would-be robbers. Now that trend has moved out to Columbus County, where there was a a robber was shot and killed near Lake Waccamaw.

"We've been here like 20 some years and ain't nothing ever happened like that," neighbor Alton Nichols said. "I don't see why someone would do something like that. It don't make sense."

Though folks in Lake Waccamaw say their small town is usually pretty calm, many say they don't hesitate to protect themselves if someone threatens their life and don't blame the employee for what he did.

Sam Melville, who lives near the store, says the robber got what he deserved.

"Good riddance," Melville said. "I'm sorry. It's just rewards. He earned what he got."

Lake Waccamaw Police say an employee at Waccamaw Outdoor Supply gunned down a man trying to steal from the store around lunchtime. They say things like this usually don't happen in their quiet town.

"When something, a violent crime occurs, it, of course, concerns everybody in the community," Police Chief Scott Hyatt said. "We pride ourselves on having a safe environment here, but you can't plan for the unexpected like that."

Chief Hyatt says the would-be robber did have a weapon, a sledge hammer.

"This is all still very fresh," Hyatt said. "We are trying to get closure with the family, out of respect for them, before we disclose the other things. It just seems like the right thing to do."

Neighbors say they heard three gunshots, then rushed to the scene. They say one of those three gunshots hit the suspect in the head. They also say it was not the first time he tried to rob the store.

"He ran over there the first time last week and then came in this week and this is what happened," Nichols said.

Melville says what's tragic is the employee will have to live with what he did while defending his workplace.

"The tragedy is that he was forced into the position that he had to do it," Melville said. "He did not create the scenario. The other guy did. Now when he wakes up in the morning or he sleeps at night, it's going to be in his head that he's killed a human being."

Police are not confirming the identity of the shooter or the robbery suspect at this time. They say the man shot was rushed to Columbus Regional Healthcare System in Whiteville, then transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington where he died Wednesday evening.

"We believe the intent was to try and steal guns," Chief Hyatt said.

Hyatt says he doesn't plan to release the name of the employee for fear the employee could be targeted for retribution.

So far there are no charges in this case.

The shooting is still under investigation.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Man shot during robbery has died

A point not often considered is the future savings made by this man's shooting. He had already escalated from an unarmed robbery to one with a deadly weapon. Perhaps some future clerk's life has been saved by this event, or at least quite a few taxpayer bucks that would have been paid for incarcerating this guy. Whether he was "mentally challenged", i.e. nuts, is immaterial as dead at the hands of another, sane or unbalanced, is immaterial.


If you choose being a criminal as a profession, the benefits aren't that good. He brought all this on himself. No one else to blame for his short career.

Take it

I would have given the robber what he wanted. But then i'm also a democrat and we steal all the time.

protect yourself

it's a shame that someone was killed,when all he wanted to do was rob,rape or do harm to the store keeper as is his right in this very liberal state.lets blame it on our schools for not teaching him to scope out his targets more carefully.or the judges or police or even the jurys that may have felt sorry for him in the past.its got to be someones fault to be sure.maybe his parents made him cut the grass or do other chores to help out. its GOT TO BE SOMEONE OTHER THAN HIS FAULT to be sure.well now that i have written this it just hIT me.IT IS HIS FAULT AND IF MORE PEOPLE PROTECTED THEIR SELFS THERE WOULD BE LESS CRIME.

Be Careful, your thinking

Great post. There are people with common sense out their. Good for you.


Do Not bring the police into this mess. They are out there catching thugs daily, they take them in to booking at the jail, the thugs get in court and some bleeding heart lawyer meets the judge in the back hallway, they decide the case and the thug walks. Or, they let the thug plead to lesser charges and off he goes. That is not the police department's fault. It's your court system. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

Protect yourself


Because shooting twice is silly.

Chief Hyatt Says

out of respect for the robbers family he will wait some time to give out all the information. Names are being with held. The pistol packers out there are quick on the trigger to judge this case and don't yet have a clue of what exactly happened. All we know today is that the weapon of choice was a hammer, a murder took place and that the previous robbery attempt was not taken very serious as the police were not even called. There is some history here we don't know about. Maybe mental issues are involved? Previous threats between parties? Once again, I don't support store clerks with guns and once again I am thankful he was not hurt. But in this case I will not be surprised if this goes bad for the clerk. I hope for his sake that this was a true issue of self defense. It appears there is a story here that we have yet to hear.

Chief Hyatt Says Submitted by Mike T (not verified) on Thu, 01/1

out of respect for the robbers family he will wait some time to give out all the information. Names are being with held.

I will lay money that when his background is investigated:

1) He has a record as long as your arm

2) He was out on parole

3) He was out early because of "good behavior - or "he found Jesus"

4) The crime he was jailed for was plea-bargained down from a more serious charge

5) All of the above

Until the media starts printing the names of these lenient judges and parole board members who routinely recycle these people back into society, the citizens will have to do the Judicial System's dirty laundry in order to protect themselves. Far too long they have operated in the shadows and are not held responsible for their errors in judgment or the faulty agenda they espouse.

Its 50/50

Well honistly the boy was leaving the store and then the man shot him, i dont agree with everyones opinion but i also dont disagree.. I feel bad for the kids perents as well.. I think the man could have givin it a few more secs, and let the kid walk out.. He knew the boy had mental issues and he still shoot him... let his family rest in peace and let God be with him and him family..

What we know

What we know for sure is that a robber came into that store with a sledge hammer, intent on robbing the store (and perhaps its customers) and to do bodily harm. That’s why you take a weapon. No weapon was brought to the previous robbery, so apparently the robber had moved up to the more violent aspect of robbery. If mental issues were involved here, that’s all the more reason for the clerk to defend himself.

If the robber hadn’t chosen to commit the crime, he wouldn’t have subjected himself to the possibility of being killed. He put himself in that spot. He made the decision to break the law and to introduce a violent weapon into the equation. He’s dead because he brought it on himself. If I was the clerk, I would have done the same thing…except I wouldn’t have fired two warning shots. I would have hit him dead center with the very first bullet. If it were up to me, I would give him a medal.

"not be surprised if this goes bad for the clerk"

I think the story is that it didn't go bad for the clerk, but it damn sure did for the robber.

Crooks are stupid. Maybe this man was "mental" but I'm sure he could read.

There is a GIANT SIGN on the building that reads...

"TEAM GLOCK". If that doesn't tell you something, you have a bright but short future being a crook.

The story you were waiting and wanting to hear was "Clerk killed by hammer wielding thief". Or possibly "one dead in $7.50 robbery gone bad".

Once again NOT MURDER, justifiable homicide in self defense.

More people are finding out they don't have to be a victim, and can legally defend themselves.

"An armed society is a polite society".

This will amaze you!

Being beaten to death by a nutjob with a hammer is no better than being beaten to death by a robber with a hammer.

The law allows the application of deadly force when you are in fear of death or grievous bodily injury FROM ANYONE. You are under no obligation to have a psychological evaluation done on the person who is attacking you. As long as there is a reasonable conclusion that you were at risk, you have the law on your side.

This guy went so far as to fire warning shots, nowhere required by law. The store owner did everything in his power to avoid shooting this guy, but it ended the way it is supposed to - the good guys won.

Why does that constantly trouble you so much?

Perfectly Said

You hit the ol nail on the head.

Mike T

The clerk is alive and well Mike, your support is not wanted nor needed. You sound really hopeful that there is some secret story we have yet to hear....Good luck with that. People are tired of being victims.


If this is going on in a "civilized" environment, just imagine what an anarchy state would bring. (it would only take a week of having no food on the grocery store shelves.) These unarmed bed-wetting, limp-wristed sympathizers for that scum bag would be murdered for what they have by these villainous creatures that they vehemently defend. The smart ones will have their lead-slingers locked and loaded and plenty of lead to go along.

I just had an occasion where a suspect entered my place of business and was just about to rob it. I felt the vibe, went to the back and although never producing my smoke-wagon, I made sure he heard the sound of a round being chambered. I later found out he had murdered someone in another county in a robbery and the US Marshals were looking for him. The sound of me racking one in the chamber gave him cold feet and possibly saved my life that day as told to me by a law enforcement officer.

Hate it had to happen

I really hate this had to happen to the robber. Anytime someone takes it upon themselves to rob someone, they are playing a dangerous game. We all have the right to protect ourselves and our property. If someone walks in today to rob me, I should not have have to ask them is their gun loaded or say "oh you robbed me before and it was in no way violet, so here you go, take the cash, the guns, the employees, whatever you want, and have a great day. Watch your step on the way out"

When you are looking down the barrel of a weapon, or looking at the metal point of a knife or sword, the first thing you know is that the person holding the other end of it is crazy and means business. The first thing I'm going to do is to go into survival mode. If the person was crazy enough to "bust up into" my store with a weapon then they are crazy enough to use it.

Race, age, gender have no impact on the outcome of a robbery, on either side. A robber has no right to rob a person or business, but a person or business does have the right to defend themselves.

If I were a low-life robber, I would run like crazy after one warning shot and would not stick around to see if the store owner is really serious about protecting himself and his property to fire a second warning shot.

Don't blame the person who is being robbed if the outcome is different than the robbers intent. Before robbing someone, consider writing a Will and making prearranged funeral arrangement to spare one's family from grief should the person being robbed consider protecting himself and his property as he has the right to do.

I hate that this happened but the robber knew the danger when he sought to commit the crime.

This is just my opinion, like it or not!


Here we see the liberal nanny state in action from two of the many angles.

1. We see the criminal who thinks that they are entitled to anything they want and can just take it. We hard working Americans WORK for a living, not steal. We pay for things, we do the right thing.

2. We see the liberal bed wetters crying that there was someone who loved this person, he was someones uncle, brother, dad, son, grandson, nephew twice removed. We get it. Did the criminals family try to do anything to prevent this... NO! Hold them accountable for their family member, if he was SOOOOOO close to them. Apparently, this POS (not point of sale either) tried to rob this place last week. Repetitive actions... what else has this "good, loving, christian" done to assist the deterioration of our society. Someone may shed tears for this person, but it wont be me!

Kill'em all. Criminals who rob, rape, steal, kill... Let it be done.

There is no suprise to me as to why the 2nd amendment is 2nd... Freedom of speech then freedom to protect my self from the liberal nanny state and the liberal bed wetters.

WELLL!! you better come up with a better defense than

Freedom of Speech!

Mr. District Attorney, please do your job!

"Internet killer is an appellation found in media reports for a person who broadcasts the crime of murder online or who murders a victim met through the Internet."

Whats that you say? "Kill'em all. Criminals who rob, rape, steal, kill... Let it be done."


You sir are a complete idiot. The DA can't do a thing. Get real moron. I agree with kill em all!!! Every single last scum bag. I am betting you fall into this catagory, guess that is why you are so upset. To bad. With any luck one of these sorry good for nothing crooks will break into your house and rob you blind, then YOU can just sit there and do nothing, because you are a sheep. A liberal, fearful, little sheep.

Get a clue!

"Internet killer is an appellation found in media reports for a person who broadcasts the crime of murder online or who murders a victim met through the Internet."

So, who broadcast this violent crime (the robbery) on the internet? Please let us know so they can be charged as accessories. Thanks.

Freedom of Speech

It's his OPINION, this is a public forum, and he has a right to say whatever his opinion is...just like you do. And, yes, it's called freedom of speech.

If you don't like what's being posted, just stay off this forum. Don't read all the comments that seem to upset you so. Avoid them like the plague...but then what would you complain about?

Another down

Another thug off the street and one less mouth to feed in prison! Keep up the good work to all store owners! Protect your self and shoot who ever robs your store!

I have no sympathy for these low life who try and rob stores. If you want money get a job! If your a convicted felon and can't a job because of that oh well. You caused that issue your self!

Thank you store owner!


He was no thug or criminal

He was no thug or criminal so get your facts straight and I hope the clerk have plenty of sleepless nights.He didn't have to shoot him in the head...

Yes he was

He was a thug and a criminal and good for the clerk shooting him in the head. He won't try to rob anybody else ever again.

If the would be robber had

If the would be robber had been earnimg an honest living he would still be alive. You should pay the price for your own consequences.

WWAY Bloggers have blood on your hands

For those who woo hoo'd it up and push the idea to clerks on this comment board to shoot potential robbers, you all have blood on your hands. You, yourself have also pulled the trigger and took a life because you glorified the killing of people. I really hope the DA is viewing this thread and asks for IP addresses for you so called anonomously bloggers. You are just as guilty as the clerk who shot and murdered someone. Yes, that guy came in with a gun, but was it loaded? Did he get shot in the front or the head of back of head? THREE shots, come on? couldnt aim for the leg? Even a police officer yells to put down the gun many times before shooting. The fact that the guy has robbed the store before and didnt hurt anyone should tell you he wasnt a violent robber. If I was the family of the murder victim, I would sue WWAY, Bloggers on this board who enticed killing robbers and the people who own the store. All of you guys names have been written in the Book of Judgement. What a sad world we live in!


You obviously have never been in a situation where your life was in immediate danger. Only a fool lets an attacker land the first blow or get the first shot.


Let me address a couple of things in your post because I'm really not sure where you get your information from.

"Even a police officer yells to put down the gun many times before shooting." Not necessarily. I work in law enforcement. If possible, you give warnings. However, if someone is pointing a firearm at me or a third party, they've bought a visit with a .40 caliber round; no warning required.

"THREE shots, come on? couldnt aim for the leg?" I can't speak for the average citizen but we're trained to shoot at center mass and to do so in 2 shot bursts to which will maximize your chances of neutralizing the threat. You never, ever shoot for the extremeties except in unusual situations (eg. someone wearing body armor). Most shooting situations are stressful and chaotic. Even when shooting for the largest area the body, most people will miss the majority of their shots. Factor in adrenaline and the fact that no one is simply going to stand still and let you choose what body part to shoot and you can see why. If we have to shoot we're doing so to incapacitate and stop the threat, not necessarily to kill. You certainly won't stop someone's ability to use a gun by shooting them in the leg.

I would suggest that you do a little research before you make statements like these in public.

Your an idiot. That is all I

Your an idiot. That is all I have to say.