Coroner rules death of man in Myrtle Beach police shooting a suicide

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County Coroner’s Office says the man who died after being shot by a Myrtle Beach Police officer actually died from a self-inflicted wound.

According to Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden, the man who died following the Myrtle Beach Police officer-involved shooting has been identified as Howard Burton Hughes, 56, of Myrtle Beach. One week after the shooting, McSpadden confirms Hughes’ “fatal injury was self-inflicted.” The case has been ruled a suicide, McSpadden says.

Captain Joey Crosby with the police department says officers responded to Spivey Park off 3rd Avenue South and Collins Street, in reference to a suspicious person. When officers arrived on scene, they found a man, later identified as Hughes, with a gun.

While speaking with officers, Hughes, “turned and pointed his weapon towards the officers,” according to Capt. Crosby. Officers shot the man and then immediately began CPR in attempts to save his life. Hughes was pronounced dead at the scene, Capt. Crosby confirms.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was contacted and agents are now investigating the officer-involved shooting. This is the second officer-involved shooting of the year for Myrtle Beach Police.

Capt. Crosby says the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative duty pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“This is something that we as police officers, we never want to face. It’s a day that we hope never happens in our career, and it’s something that we’ve trained for but we certainly don’t want to utilize that training,” says Capt. Crosby.

The first shooting Myrtle Beach police were involved in occurred less than two weeks ago around 11:30 p.m. Sept. 3.

According to Capt. Crosby, the shooting happened on 21st Avenue South in Myrtle Beach when a person driving a car almost hit a security officer. That’s when Myrtle Beach police responded and found the vehicle and the driver on South Ocean Boulevard at the Mystic Sea Motel. While officers were investigating, Capt. Crosby says officers had to discharge their weapons and one person was sent to the hospital.

“It presents an aura in the department, a sadness, a shock that this has occurred, and again so as we provide the counseling and the support that they need to get though this, we do keep in the forefront the needs that they and their family have, as well as the victim’s family,” explains Capt. Crosby.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock says police tried to make a traffic stop and when the car turned into the parking lot, the driver maneuvered their vehicle toward officers and struck an officer.

“At that time, due to the subject’s actions, officers discharged their firearms. Officers immediately rendered aid and the subject was transported to the hospital,” Chief Prock stated in the video.

The man shot by police, identified as Jarvis Hayes was 31, from Greensboro, North Carolina, died five days later.