Police: Suspect in Loris store clerk's murder shot and killed by NC deputies

Columbus County detectives say Dion Brown fired at them as he ran from the scene of this house fire.

Investigators say Columbus County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a man in Tabor City overnight, wanted for the murder of a Loris, South Carolina store clerk April 27.

Deputies say Dion Julius Brown, 22, fired at them Tuesday morning as he ran from the scene of a house fire in Tabor City. They say they returned fire, hitting Brown.

Columbus County detectives say they got a tip Brown was in the area Monday, at which point Columbus County Sheriff's deputies and Horry County police began working together to find him.

Horry County police had warrants for Brown, issued on April 27, for Murder, Robbery, Burglary, and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime.

According to the warrant for murder, Brown shot the store clerk, Malcolm Norris, during an armed robbery. The warrant states Brown had been recently fired from the Hills Supermarket, had asked for his job back, and was rejected. Police say Brown was identified by another employee at the store.

According to the warrant for Robbery and Burglary, Brown stole money from Norris and from the store during the incident.

Horry County police also released an incident report on the shooting at the grocery store. In it, it says police were called when the suspect was still inside the store. They arrived to find Norris lying on the ground with a wound to the head. An employee was tending to Norris. Two other employees were hiding in a rear closet of the store.

Loris is a small, close-knit community and many residents are upset that such a violent crime could happen there.

"It's a big shock because the little town of Loris doesn't have a lot of stuff like this happen," said Jacqueline Hilburn.

Hilburn has been a customer at Hills over the years. In that time, she has gotten to know Norris and told us about the influence he has had on her.

"He just helped anybody. He really would. He would help you. He went out of his way at the store to make you feel comfortable. Just a great person. Somebody who would be a positive influence in your life," she said.

A representative of the Hills Grocery Store company told WPDE NewsChannel 15 they plan to release a statement Wednesday morning.

We will continue to follow this story and post more details as we get them.