An armed man was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center and later pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds after officers fired at him early Saturday morning at 21st Avenue North and Robert Grissom Parkway, Lt. Joey Crosby, spokesman with Myrtle Beach police said.
The man has been identified as Donald Andrew White, 55, and recently moved to the Myrtle Beach area, according to a release from deputy coroner Michelle McSpadden.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents were on scene investigating for most of Saturday morning, and the Myrtle Beach officers involved were placed on administrative duty, which is standard protocol.
At 3:26 a.m. Saturday, a caller contacted the Myrtle Beach Police Department and told authorities White was acting strangely at 21st Avenue North and Robert Grissom Parkway, Crosby said.
Officers were dispatched to that area and upon arrival found White with a gun in his hand, police said.
Authorities communicated with him, and a short time later a negotiator was called to the scene.
“The male presented the weapon in a manner that made officers fear for their life, and the officers fired their weapons,” Crosby said in a release.
Mallorie Boone, assistant manager at the Scotchman gas station on the corner of 21st Avenue North and Robert Grissom Parkway, arrived at work at the gas station at 6 a.m. Saturday to find flashing lights and crime scene tape near the business and the area crawling with police. She said a third-shift clerk told her they were approached by a man who said a suspicious gentleman was on the corner and asked that police be called. She said later it turned out that the man who requested the call was White himself.
“I’m not sure what to think about any of it. It’s kind of scary in a way. He could have shot in here,” Boone said.
She said the clerk told her White had a gun to his head during incident.
“The officers involved in this incident are PFC. Jeff Thomas, PFC. Brendan Hyde, and PFC. Michael Hearon. The officers have been placed on administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation,” Crosby said in release, which is standard protocol.
One of the officers received first aid for minor injuries suffered during the incident, police said.
The officers were wearing body cameras during the incident, and city video surveillance also captured the incident, according to authorities.
“SLED conducts law enforcement involved shooting investigations at the request of the agency involved in the incident. This independent investigation follows SLED’s guidance in conducting interviews, along with the gathering and analysis of forensic evidence. Interviews are being conducted with the responding officers and others,” Thom Berry, SLED spokesman said in a press release Saturday morning.
This incident was the 11th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina in 2016, and the first this year involving a Myrtle Beach police officer. Last year, there were 48 officer-involved shooting incidents in the state and none involved the Myrtle Beach Police Department, Berry said in the release.
More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available. Please check back for story updates.