Suspect dead in officer-involved shooting, law enforcement investigations continue

A 32-year-old suspect died in a Myrtle Beach police officer-involved shooting near 65th Avenue.

Both Myrtle Beach police and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division continue to investigate. The Horry County Coroner’s Office stated on Saturday afternoon that Matthew Graham of Loris died in the shooting.

Two officers were involved in the shooting near Timberline Street and 65th Avenue North around 2 a.m., according to Myrtle Beach police. Cpl. Thomas Vest said neither officer was injured in the shooting.

Steve Banks was in his Timberline Street yard around 2 a.m. with his friend Buck, who declined to provide his last name. Buck said the suspect stole a mountain bike from his garage around 11 p.m. before the shooting.

Banks said the suspect quickly pedaled down the road at 2 a.m. with two or three police cruisers on his tail. They made the turn on to 65th Avenue North when both men heard the shooting.

“I just remember three or four shots,” Banks said. “At least five or six,” Buck added.

Banks walked down the block to the scene and saw several officers getting equipment out of their car and putting up the caution tape, he said. That is when he returned home knowing the incident was over.

Que Gist lives nearby and said he was outside when the shooting happened. He said he heard several shots, initially thinking it was a machine gun, and looked out of his fenced yard. He said that at first he didn’t see any police, but then saw them putting up the yellow, caution tape.

“They’ve been out here all night,” he said.

According to police radio traffic, the suspect was shot in the chest and minutes later went into cardiac arrest. Myrtle Beach police logs show officers responded to reports of a stolen vehicle and suspicious activity near 65th Avenue North about 10 minutes before the shooting.

Anyone with photos, videos or information about the incident is asked to contact SLED at 803-737-9000 or Myrtle Beach police at 843-918-1382.

A 32-year-old Matthew Graham has an extensive criminal history in Horry County, based on court records. He has pending charges for manufacturing meth and distributing drugs. Horry County police arrested him in late May on those charges and released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center in June.

Horry County police again arrested Matthew Graham on Sept. 18 for possession of less than a gram of drugs and he was released on bond on Sept. 24.

According to court records, Matthew Graham was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 for grand larceny and third-degree arson. A Matthew Graham is listed on the South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon offender list, but it does not list a home county. The Matthew Graham on the probation list shares the same name and birth year with the Matthew Graham with the criminal history in Horry County.

Related stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News

Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.