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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.



Nice shooting !



You never know!

The problem is when you're confronted by someone with a gun you don't have the luxury of knowing if the person is scared and fell on hard times just trying to get by, or if they're just a plain ruthless killer who wants your money. I do agree that all these people commiting armed robberies do have grieving parents that mourn their loss. But you never know if the person confronting you is ready to kill and at that point better that the would be victim doesn't have to have his family grieving his or her loss. It is a dangerous world and you must protect yourself and the ones you love first. The time you take to wonder if the person robbing you is a real threat could mean your life.

...going "threw"..?? ooook

...going "threw"..?? ooook You're right about one thing...getting your head blown off ain't worth it. But he made that choice...dirt nap time!

"Dumb Comment" in this situation

Maybe "HE" should have thought about that before he entered the store with intent of stealing something.
You people are so brilliant with some of your comments and wise ideas.

It's sad!

I read all of the comments and it sad that everybody is so excited that a young man lost his life. I personally know him and his parents. He was not a crack head as someone said. He was a child of God and a child of two loving parents. He was wrong for going into that store and yes he won't be going back. My heart still goes out for his family, so even though he was wrong, please note that he has family that are probably reading your comments. Everyone makes mistakes and will have to answer to God for them. Put yourselves in his family's shoes. There is no need to belittle my comments, I understand he was committing a crime it is just sad things had to turn out this way! Thanks and God Bless!


This is just wrong. Whats next? Husbands and wives with a pistol next to the front door, just in case? Shooting neighbors who they think are robbing them? Guns are ruining America! They're too accessible, people think they need to protect themselves from what? Did anyone ask WHY this person did what he did? Is he desperate? Is he not getting enough help from us? We're falling farther down every day, I'm afraid to go to a store anymore, I'll be shot reaching for a pack of gum.

We need to do more for these people, not shoot them!!! We can help!

Just kidding, shoot them, twice if you need to. Protect yourselves, your family, and liberals too. They need help the most, bunch of sheep.


You had me going for a minute

My kind of town, Lake Wac-cam-aw, my kind of town....

Let's not forget that the manager of the supermarket out there shot and killed a robber a few years back. It became apparent that cooperating wasn't calming the guy, and the manager sincerely believed that he and the store employees were about to be killed. He followed the age-old adage, "If your enemy comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first."

Lake Waccamaw

You sure seem to enjoy stories of killing. Any type, any kind, as long as someone gets killed.

Only if it's the bad guys

EVERYONE should celebrate the death of a criminal. Why would you not?

1165, every now and again

1165, every now and again this guy brags about his prowess during the Vietnam war. He also has admitted to career length military service, that he collects VA benefits and now purportedly has a successful business.

Common is likely one of two choices, an office pinky who never left stateside during the 'Nam era and continued his "career" in the military; or worse, a foul-up who caused one of his own either death or injury in combat and is acting out now because he is a failure.... He is living through the barrel of another man's gun.

I feel safe to say that a real man, a real combat vet or police officer who took a life in the line of duty would NEVER celebrate a death, a death of an enemy or an alleged criminal perpetrator in the way that some of the miscreants on this board do.

We need to stay Focused on GOD

As Christians we need to stay focused on God and pray for one another. There is no need for all of the bashing and wishing harm on any man. Even though what he did was wrong, God determines out fate not us as people. I will continue to pray for both families because its hard to bare a death or the reality of someone killing someone else. My goal out of this comment is just to keep you eyes on the prize and focus on GOD.


I'm also a Christian, but I disagree with your statement that, "God determines our fate, not us as people".

God gave us all freedom of choice. We can choose good, or we can choose evil. With every choice comes a consequence. Remember when God said, "Choose you this day whom you will serve"? This robber chose evil, and he paid for it with his life. Ultimately, God allowed this to happen because of the bad choice that the robber made. Along with freedom of choice comes sometimes hefty consequences.

Not Real Smart

This was a store that sold firearms,handguns,rifles and shotguns.
Didn't he know the people that sold them also knew how to use them?
Oh well, he asked for it and he got it.

way to go !!!!

Can you believe this guy was that STUPID that he tried to rob the same store last week...

Way to go store clerk !!!!!

You know after the investigation it will be a good shot.. and it was


Did man have on mask,and if he did how can you tell who is who plus they said that he tried to rob store last week did they know for sure it was him....(just saying) AND was it on the news channel's LAST WEEK IF HE DID'T HAVE GUN, WHY NOT HIS LEG JUST SAYING AGAIN?????

This is a crackhead

This is a crackhead. This is a crackhead tring to rob a store. This is what happens to a crackhead's brain when a slug goes through it. Get It!





It wasn't my family member

It wasn't my family member, because if it was I would have denounced him a long time ago. Wake up - justice was served.

My son?

If he were my son I would have known what he was capable of and would have gotten him professional help. Did his parents do that or did they just fold their hands and shake their heads? This was not an upstanding citizen and anyone who knew him knew he had problems. Put the blame where it belongs.

Heartless bastards???? Lol

Heartless bastards???? Lol 1st off the stupid sob was willingly breaking the law! 2nd off if that's not reason enuf then listen to this, he goes to the store for a 2nd time with a knife lol repeat a knife tto rob a store that has guns repeat guns GUNS, so if shooting him for breaking law with intent of using a weapon (knife) isn't logical enuf reason then his lack of intelligence should be

Not my family!

Go sympathize somewhere else! Not one of my family members would ROB A STORE WITH A GUN, or without!!!!!! All of you people crying about someones Son, Brother or whatever being dead need to stop and think how you would feel if some lowlife thug broke into your house and terrorized you for your belongings. Remember Eve Carson? That girl was savagely murdered for a few dollars....she begged and pleaded for her life. She actually cared for the welfare of her attackers but was given no choice of life or death. These SCUMBAGS should get what they deserve. How about all of you bleeding heart sympathizers start a forum for your own personal gratification, we're sick of hearing you spew your acceptance of criminal activity with no consequence!

Good Job!

Good Job!!!!!

way to go!!

I am all for vigilante justice and getting more and more in favor of it everyday. The judicial system is a joke. Handle your own problem your way and be done with it. I don't want to hear any bleeding hearts supporting a criminal like the courts do. I'm fed up with it and evidently others are, too.

Life is hard...

it's even harder when you're stupid.


If you're going to quote John Wayne, you need to put it in quotation marks, or you can be sued for plagiarism (copyright infringement).


Great, the don't put up with criminals message is spreading.

Update! The criminal has died. The clerk saved the taxpayers some money. I wonder how long until the criminal defenders come out crying that he was somebody's brother, uncle, father, cousin etc and what a good guy he was and that he only made a mistake.