Crime

Conway bank robbery one of the country’s deadliest in recent years

The last time two employees were killed in the U.S. during a bank robbery was in 2014, according to FBI statistics.

That makes last week’s Conway CresCom bank heist, when two female employees were shot to death, one of the nation’s deadliest in recent years.

Authorities say 32-year-old Brandon Michael Council, of Wilson, N.C., shot and killed Kathryn “Katie” Davis Skeen, 36, of Green Sea and Donna Major, 59, of Conway during the robbery on August 21 before fleeing the scene in one of the victim’s vehicles.

Council allegedly told federal agents he was “desperate, he needed money, and that he knew he was going to shoot someone,” an FBI agent states in an affidavit.

“He knew he was going to hurt somebody that day,” the court documents allege.

There were 4,251 bank robberies that took place across the country in 2016 and only one employee was killed, the statistics show.

Out of all last year’s bank robberies in the U.S., a robber threatened to use a weapon in only half of them. The statistics say those include cases “where a weapon was threatened or implied either orally or in a demand note but not actually observed.”

From 2014 to 2016, 92 employees were injured in bank robberies and three were killed.

In South Carolina alone, there were a total of 38 bank robberies and two bank burglaries last year, according to the statistics.

Council was arrested August 23 following a brief foot pursuit by police after being spotted by someone in Greenville, N.C.

Police said Council was already wanted for an August 10 bank robbery at a BB&T bank in Wilson, N.C., but no one was injured in that robbery, according to WRAL.

Records show Council has convictions in N.C. dating back to 2004.

In the Conway robbery, Council was charged with armed bank robbery with a deadly weapon resulting in death and with use, carry, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to a news release sent last week.

“We will never be the same after what has happened in this town,” said Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles

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