Conway police ask for public's help to find bank robbery, homicide suspect
Two employees were killed inside the CresCom Bank in Conway Monday and police from multiple agencies are following up on tips as they comb the area for a man they warn is “armed and dangerous.”
Conway police responded to an alarm at the bank on the corner of U.S. Highway 501 and 16th Avenue around 1:20 p.m. Monday, as the moon started to eclipse the sun. Inside, officers found the lifeless bodies of Kathryn “Katie” Davis Skeen of Green Sea and Donna Major of Conway.
Skeen and Major were employees at the bank. They died from gunshot wounds suffered in the robbery, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden.
Skeen was 36. Major was 59. Both left behind grieving families and friends.
“This has been a tragedy for everyone in the community and it affects everyone,” said Lt. Selena Small of the Conway Police Department, in a continued plea for anyone with any information to call the police.
“We want to ask you to continue to keep the family in your thoughts and prayers right now because they need our support,” Small said.
Barbara Blain-Bellamy, Conway mayor released a statement regarding the shooting.
“I was blessed to know these remarkable women, and enjoyed their company weekly,” part of the statement reads. “I always left their place of business with added reason to smile and appreciate humankind. We all grieve that Conway has lost two very special friends.”
Police have identified a “person of interest” they are seeking in connection to the incident—Brandon Michael Council, 32, of Wilson, N.C.
Council is also wanted in connection with a separate bank robbery in his hometown that occurred Aug. 10, Small said.
“We don’t have warrants on this subject, but, again, this is a person of interest that we would like to question in reference to the bank robbery,” Small said. “We do have reason to believe that he has been in the Conway area recently.”
Although no warrants have been issued for him in Conway, Council is wanted under an active warrant for the bank robbery in North Carolina. He is considered to be armed and dangerous, and police say he may have changed his hairstyle. Officials have released separate photos of Council with long braids and short hair.
Council is described by police as a black male who fled the scene in a stolen white Chrysler 200 with tinted windows and a South Carolina license plate that reads IZM-457.
The vehicle also had a “River Life” sticker on its back windshield, and Small stated that the suspect may not still be in the same vehicle.
“We know that the tag could come off the vehicle or the vehicle could have been switched. However, we still need you to be looking for that vehicle and give us a call if you do see (it),” Small said. “Don’t approach the vehicle. Give us a call.”
The Chrysler belonged to one of the victims, Small said.
“We’re following every single lead that we get. We’ve got to do everything here because we have to get this guy into custody and found out what happened,” Small said. “We also need to speak to Mr. Council to see if he’s connected in any way to the robbery.”
In addition to the Conway Police Department, the FBI, state troopers, the State Law Enforcement Division, Horry County and Myrtle Beach police are searching for Council.
Police are asking that anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts call the Conway Police Department at 843-248-1790 or Crime Stoppers of the Low Country at 1-888-CRIME-SC (1-888-274-6372).
The community “is giving us the tips to follow. You have the pieces to the puzzle,” Small said. “You’re little piece of that puzzle could solve a major case for us.”
The bank remained shuttered Tuesday where crime scene tape was stretched around the parking lot.
“Everyone in our company is heartbroken about this tragedy and we are devastated for the victims and their families,” CresCom Bank officials said in a statement.
“We are actively cooperating with the authorities investigating this unthinkable crime,” the statement said.