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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.


No such thing as "kinda sorta deadly force"

You are only allowed to use deadly force to prevent death or grievous bodily injury to yourself or an innocent third party.

Aim for a leg or arm and you immediately raise the question of "Just how much were you REALLY in fear of your life?" Shoot to disable only and you may very well get indicted.

Stop standing up for dirtbags. The man was obviously a worthless piece of trash and received what he so richly deserved. Another dead criminal is ALWAYS a good thing.

Common, did you not get enough love while growing up?

Oh Mr/Mrs Righteous, so you never stole anything? You are so pure and innocent of all sins? I mean, you cast your justified knowledge on us poor souls EVERY SINGLE DAY on this forum because we don't know better but yet you do because you have never done ANYTHING immoral in your life, right? Calling someone a dirtbag that is dead that you have NEVER met in your pitiful life is downright ugly. Do you not have feelings? This man had a family. Does it not bother you that they will see your malicious comments? Do you not care that his family will shed tears behind your ignorance? Do you? WWAY, you really need to censor these comments. You people better hope that none of your family members wind up in this guy situation and you then have to bear to read these hateful comments.

I stole a holepunch once

I stole a holepunch once when I was about 6. My sister saw me playing with it in the back seat and told my mom. My mom took me back to the store and made me tell the clerk that I was a thief and that I stole the holepunch.

So yeah, I stole something once. When I was 6.

As for strongarm robbery, nope, never.

Leftist moralizers are worse than the most hardcore tent revival preacher ever was. Why do you try to push your morals on other people? You have seen the light, glory, glory, hallelujah.

My family members don't ROB people!

Do you expect us to take your nonsensical comments serious? My family members work for their belongings, they don't steal! Sure his family will shed tears for his malicious act, doesn't change my opinion. Oh btw, did you fire off that email to the DA and, as you call him "the general attorney"?

It doesn't bother me in the least

He wrote his life's script. He wrote the ending. Armed robber = felon = dirtbag. There's no need to meet him. I can judge him from his actions.

Your problem is that you can't handle THE TRUTH. You're on some crying jag because a store owner defended his life. Boo-friggin'-hoo!

BTW, here are my feelings: If one of my family members entered a store armed and intent on robbery and I was there, I'd shoot him or her dead before the store owner had a chance to. Thankfully, my family doesn't pull that kind of crap. I'm sure you find the concept of a family where no one has been arrested, no one has gone to prison, and no one has been gunned down in a bad drug deal unusual, but trust me - we're out here.

You can go back to mourning your cuz now...

Wow, now this is funny stuff.

This punk thugs blood feels just fine on my hands. I hope all clerks follow this ones lead. Tell that to your DA. Now I know you are 2 ignorant to know the difference between self defense and murder, but that is okay, the rest of us understand. Stupid!!

Speaking from experience?

"Even a police officer yells to put down the gun many times before shooting."

Are you speaking from experience? Sounds like it!

"I really hope the DA is viewing this thread and asks for IP addresses for you so called anonomously bloggers."

Anonomously bloggers? Doesn't this site have spell check?

"The fact that the guy has robbed the store before and didnt hurt anyone should tell you he wasnt a violent robber."

So I guess it is your opinion that he be allowed to rob any store with a weapon, anywhere, without consequence?

"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."

Yeah, pay the criminals' family for him committing a potentially violent crime. That sounds like a good idea to me.....NOT! You are a complete idiot!

"All of you guys names have been written in the Book of Judgement."

I keep a book of judgement and update it frequently with names of criminals that have payed the price for their actions.

I do speak from experience thank you

just to wake you up here. we have been robbed at our store. with a gun in my husbands face. with two sorry pieces of trash on the other end. we weren't lucky enough to get a shot off at either one of them. but if we could have we would gladly go to bed at night with their blood on our hands if need be. you walk into someones business with a gun you have to know that you are asking for trouble. by the hand of god we are still alive and well and spending our life with our two young boys. so to all the sorry pieces of trash who want to walk into our store with a gun, we all carry guns now. so the next time the robbers won't be walking out - carried out in a body bag is more the case here. so people should be careful who they defend you never know what someone on the other end of the gun has had happen to them. and oh yea, I will gladly give up my ip address. so yea i guess i really do mean kill them all if need be. its either you or them.

Did you forget the




are you an attorney?

You must be a defense attorney. Sorry, you lost that monies for defending this cretin.


for the laugh!!

I'm ok with that

You are such a sob story. Cry those tears for a criminal all you want, I'll go out of my way to stop by that store and congratulate the clerk. Just like I've done at Wrightsville Country Store.

You hope the DA will waste time issuing suponeas for IP address? What for? To confirm the United States of America still has free speech?

It doesn't matter if the gun was loaded, a pellet gun or an air-soft gun. He came into a store with the intent to rob it and used a weapon in the commission of that crime.

Aim for the leg? No, you aim for center mass to eliminate the threat. A police officer has to warn many times before shooting due to people like you that want to sue everybody. I bet you would be one of the first to march if the police were to shoot a criminal.

Get this through your skull, criminals that choose to commit crimes are taking a risk with their lives. I hope more criminals are shot and killed. And I'll post on them as well.

Just another lesson and opne more slice of justice the American

Rules of life...
Nerver try to rob a store that has abig poster with the word GLOCK on the front window....
A dead man steals no gold.
with over 90% of America being armed, and just today another criminal shot to death during a break-in in Chadburn,maybe these criminals will soon figure out that in todays world if you rob someone, DON'T expect to walk away alive.
Don't know about the rest of you but I won't hesitate to unload the second your first breath is in my house if you break in.

If you're are okay with participating in murder, then..

POST YOUR REAL NAME!! you and self proclaim to the world that all robbers, theives, and anyone else who made a terrible mistake should be gun down in cold blood and "your name" are proud of it! Yes, shout it from the keyboards of your true identity instead of hiding behind a guest name.... yeah, thats what I thought! I will be sending a letter to the DA as well to the NC General Attorney about the comments posted before and after. I also hope that anyone else who agrees with the malicious content that this internet forum provides should also write in to the DA and NC General Attorney and tell them what kind of people reside in SE NC. I really hope the clerk that shot the guy wasnt a blogger here on WWAY because all you fools will be going down with him! and to think you guys thought the internet was something you could hide behind!

your name

Hey I don't see your real name!!! What's up with that???

Let me guess.... lost another cuz?

You go Commonsensenotc

Good one!!

No thanks

I won't post my real name because I don't want wacko's like yourself showing up at my home or work. And the thief wasn't gunned down in cold blood, the clerk acted in self-defense.
As we tell the defenders of criminals, armed robbery isn't a mistake, it is a choice. A choice he made and a choice that cost him his life. But the best part is he won't ever try to rob anybody ever again.

Make sure before you mail your letters, you post them on here so those of us that are tired of criminals can get yet another laugh at your expense.

Again, we all have the freedom of speech. Just like the garbage you are free to post. And keep it up, your crap is better than any current comedy on TV.


Really? Please post your real name also! I have NO PROBLEM with saying that I will DEFEND myself and my family if some SCUMBAG tries to rob me. If that means using deadly force then so be it!

Oh, btw, it is NC Attorney General, not General Attorney; his name is Roy Cooper. I'd be more than happy to tell him my position on heinous crimes. Whatever you do don't send your letter to the DA of Durham, Tracy Cline, as she is incompetent and won't help your Free speech my brother, free speech!

Are you threatening us? I'd suggest keeping your pointless arguments to yourself and learn a little about Americans' rights before spewing your disgusting thoughts. Get a clue!

Why do you "really hope the clerk that shot the guy wasnt a blogger here on WWAY because all you fools will be going down with him!"? This comment makes no sense whatsoever. Your intelligence has been put on display, and it isn't pretty!

You First!

You first! Post YOUR real name here first before shuckin' and jivin' about others posts. I've seen some pretty mean posts coming from your fingers too, so maybe the DA and Attorney General better place you first in line.

This is a public forum, where anyone can post their thoughts and opinions. You may not like them, but we all have freedom of speech. If you don't like it, just don't visit here. Quit posting and go somewhere else. Simple solution, isn't it? If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

But...if they shut down this forum, you would have nothing to complain about. That would really rock your world wouldn't it?

Book of Judgement?

Get a clue. Yes, it is a SAD world we live in BECAUSE of crackheads like this dead robber and sap suckers you.

I hope the DA is viewing this thread and gets my IP, I will be happy to tell him to his face what I think. As for you, LOL you are a complete twit for thinking anyone that agrees with this shooting is liable for it. Funniest thing I read today !

"Das" a lie!

Tell him to his face? um no you wouldn't, you are right now hoping that I am wrong. This has nothing to do with free speech. You guys enticed a lynch mob of sorts and now you people should answer for it.

good grief

I do not have to hope you are wrong deary, I know you are wrong. You are cracking me up. We enticed a lynch mob by supporting a crackhead being shot while committing a crime? Right, ok.

Maybe if your crackhead relative had the brain cells to operate a PC he may have had a clue that shop owners are beginning to fight back.

BTW: You have a very unusual name Guest228, if thats your "real" name.....

Wow....are you a COMPLETE idiot?

You must be! Sounds like your threatening us all for standing up for our right of freedom and speech. Tell me, what would you do if a crackhead came into your house with a gun and robbed you or raped your wife or daughter? Waiting for your answer! Oh, and btw I would tell my DA to his face exactly how I feel about this whole situation. If he said to me, "What would you do if someone tried to rob you in your place of business or home?", I'd say I would unload on his arse and defend my property at all cost!

My guess

Guest228 would just bend over and take it. He would rather live his life on his knees hoping the criminal won't hurt him. He is the type of person that creates problems and then blames the police for not fixing it.

So U R saying if I worked in

So U R saying if I worked in a store and a robber came in with a gun, I should leave him/her shoot first and them if Im still alive I can shoot back to shoot back? No wonder the south lost the war with thinking like that. The thing about police how many times have they shoot someone with out a gun. Also what about the 14 year old, a week ago, they killed?
BTW R U a robber?

Simple To Be Wise

Oh, for God's sake, stop with the "no wonder the south lost the war" comment. It's beneath you and shows your lack of maturity.

It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say...and then don’t say it.

No, you should cooperate and let the real police handle..

their job! If you ever worked in a convenience store, your first lesson is to cooperate with the robber and give them what they want. No EXCEPTIONS!! You guys aren't GI Joe or anything near that level. We pay the police to fight crime and thats what they should do. 50 dollars is not worth ANYONE dying over! Convenience stores have insurance, they will get their money back and if these mom and pop stores dont, then boo hoo, pity on them. But NO one should die over a couple of dollars in a register. We dont know that guy was going to kill the clerk. You all assume he had to be high on drugs or whatever. I dont know if you guys ever watch the news instead of blogging on this site around the clock but times are hard. People are stealing for other things besides drugs. There are no jobs for people to earn a living so people resort to doing bad things. Is it right? heck no, but dont condemn a person to death over some bad choices in trying to provide for themselves or their family.

I provide for my family legally.

Your comments DISGUST ME!! I have had to scrub floors, work part-time jobs at all hours, sometimes work three jobs, go hungry, wear the same clothes all week, walk because I couldn't afford gas, eat bread and noodles, clean toilets, work 18 hrs a day, all to provide for myself and my family. Not once have I ever thought about robbing anyone of anything!!!!!!! I'm more fortunate in life now and have the things that we all strive for because I WORKED FOR IT. Stop with your petty arguments because you are looking more stupid with every post. Actually, it almost sounds as if your a criminal defending the lifestyle.