A man with an automatic weapon who fired a number of gunshots at a courthouse and other buildings in Bennettsville on Wednesday afternoon died after a shootout with police, officials said.
A coroner said Bobby Brown Jr. died Wednesday after opening fire at the Marlboro County courthouse. A deputy was injured.
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed it was responding to a shooting in the small city about 10 miles south of the North Carolina state line but would not give any more information. The county sheriff’s department also said it was responding to an incident in Bennettsville but did not know any details.
Witness Linda Rogers said a man got out of his car in front of the courthouse, stood on top of his car and began tearing up some papers. When a deputy arrived, the man took out a gun and opened fire.
“He was right in front of the courthouse. You just heard all these pops,” Rogers said.
Auditor Gene Moore watched the shooting from his office. “Cars were going by him on both sides. He was just kind of waving at them. I didn't know what was going on,” Moore told WIS-TV in Columbia.
After the suspect jumped in his car and drove off, Moore said he walked outside to tell deputies what happened. He then saw the man run around from the back side of the courthouse firing more shots and being chased by officers.
A police car cut the suspect off and when he turned toward the officers chasing him, he was shot, Moore told the television station.
Rogers’ husband, Bennettsville Mayor Benjy Rogers, said one deputy was shot and taken to a hospital, but “I think he’s OK.”
After the shooting, bullet holes were seen in a number of buildings in downtown Bennettsville. The suspect’s car and a police car were also shot up, said Dan McNiel, sports editor at the Marlboro Herald-Advocate, whose office is downtown.
McNiel said he saw at least 30 bullet casings along two blocks.