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More charges filed against four men in Horry County robberies

Horry County police filed additional armed robbery charges against four men, including three connected to the fatal shooting of a Tabor City, N.C., convenience store employee, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, Horry County police filed the armed robbery charges against the men linking them to four robberies in the county within the last month, said Lt. Jamie DeBari.

The men, Franklin Crawford, 24; Xzavia Parker, 19, Joshua Witherspoon, 20, and Elias Collins, 22, all of Loris, are in custody on armed robbery charges in Horry County. Collins, 22, who was shot, remains at the hospital under police custody, while the other men are being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

On Tuesday, police filed three counts of armed robbery against Collins, two counts of armed robbery against Parker and four counts each of armed robbery against Witherspoon and Crawford.

North Carolina authorities also plan to charge Parker, Collins and Witherspoon with first-degree felony murder charges in the shooting death of Abdo Ali Saleh Qoria, 42, of Tabor City, said Tabor City police Chief Donald Dowless.

Horry County police arrested the men on Monday and had linked them to four separate armed robberies. The robberies occurred on Dec. 30 at the Tokyo Express in Loris; on Dec. 31 at the Kangaroo convenience store located on S.C. 90; on Jan. 10 at the Tobacco Outlet located on S.C. 544; and on Jan. 12 at Gerald’s Convenience store located on U.S. 701 North, according to police reports.

Horry County police arrested the men Monday after Collins went to Loris Community Hospital the previous night with a gunshot wound, according to authorities. When officers questioned Collins about his injury, they became suspicious of his story.

Horry County officers were aware that North Carolina authorities were investigating a fatal robbery involving Qoria, the owner of R&R Quick Stop, police said. Qoria exchanged gunfire with a robber before he was fatally shot in the chest.

According to an incident report, Tabor City police found two guns on the floor next to Qoria and cash from the store’s register was scattered on the floor.