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‘Shots were fired and the car was jacked:’ Timeline emerges in Carolinas crime spree

Stills from security camera video showing the car and the suspects. (Carolina Inn)

The scanner crackled to life around 10:15 p.m.: "Be advised, we had a carjacking occur at Food Lion," a woman's voice rang out.

The officers dispatched to 110 East Highway 9 in Longs wouldn't be the last sent after three men who police accuse of murdering and robbing their way through northern Horry County and southern North Carolina Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Victims at the Food Lion scene told police that one man, armed with a gun, confronted a store employee in the parking lot and demanded the employee unlock the store, according to police.

The other two men, police said, carjacked a bystander in the parking lot, and fatally shot him when he attempted to drive off. The victim’s identity is expected to be released Friday.

Authorities said the three men stole a grey Nissan Altima in the Food Lion parking lot, with a South Carolina license plate of PFP-140, and made their way several miles down the road to the Loris area.

They then robbed a person whose car was broken down on Fox Bay Road, in Loris, officers said.

After that, they made their way to the Carolina Inn, in Loris.

"I get a call from one of my workers that was here, that he had just got robbed and he was really in shock," Raheem Riggins, a manager of the Carolina Inn, told ABC15.

Surveillance footage shows the Altima driving up to the doors of the hotel, which Riggins said had accidentally been left unlocked.

Two men emerged, ran through the doors, and held up a gun to the employee on duty, who opened the register and handed them money.

Riggins said the thieves got away with a small amount of cash.

"Just go ahead and give them the money," he recalled of the training employees had been given, "Because your life is not worth anything, no money anyway,"

Riggins said it was the first time he could remember the Carolina Inn being robbed.

RELATED: 'That could have been anybody:' One dead, others robbed by same group, police say

Police said the criminals drove the Altima across the North Carolina state line to the Sun-Do convenience store in Chadbourn.

Video provided to our Grand Strand media partners, the Sun News, shows men entering the store with guns drawn as an employee behind the counter dives for cover.

The distance from Longs to Chadbourn, via Loris, is around 32 miles.

People in the area told us they see emergency vehicles frequently, but what sounded like someone being murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time was scary.

"I live three miles from where the shooting occurred," Lindsey Bell explained. "I send my husband often at night if I forget milk, to go get our baby milk. That could've been my husband, my father, my father-in-law."

Police said the men were still on the run as of midnight Friday. They say if you see the Altima, don't approach it, give them a call instead.

You can contact them at 843-915-TIPS, or at crimetips@horrycounty.org .

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