TABOR CITY — A man wanted in the robbery and killing of a grocery store manager in South Carolina set a home on fire and killed someone in Tabor City before he was shot to death early Tuesday by sheriff's deputies, a prosecutor said.
Columbus County deputies saw 22-year-old Dion Brown running from the burning home and tried to arrest him. He fired at them, hitting one officer in the bullet-proof vest, and they fired back, killing him, authorities said.
"Thank God he was wearing body armor," Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher said of his deputy, who he did not name. "I attribute that body armor for him being here today."
Officers had spent much of Monday looking for Brown after police in Horry County, S.C., issued murder and armed robbery warrants for him in the Sunday morning robbery and killing of Hills Food Store manager Malcolm Norris inside the store in Loris, District Attorney Jon David said.
Surveillance cameras in the store got a good picture of Brown, and detectives were able to track him to Tabor City, investigators said.
Norris also lived in Tabor City, but authorities wouldn't say whether the two knew each other.
David didn't release many details about the fire and the second death in Tabor City, but said there was evidence that conclusively linked Brown to the killing.
The two deputies who shot at Brown have been placed on paid administrative leave as the State Bureau of Investigation reviews the shooting, Hatcher said.