BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) – A man opened fire with an automatic weapon Wednesday in the downtown of this small city, wounding a police officer before he was shot and killed by police.

Bobby Brown Jr. died a little more than an hour after he was shot, Coroner Tim Brown said. The gunfire erupted, a witness said, after Brown parked near the county courthouse, climbed on his car and began to tear up some papers. When a deputy arrived, Brown took out his gun.

Investigators don’t know why Brown decided to start shooting, police said.

“He was right in front of the courthouse. You just heard all these pops,” said Linda Rogers, wife of the town’s mayor.

The man then drove off before returning on foot from behind the courthouse, firing more shots and being chased by officers, another witness said.

A police car then cut the suspect off and he was shot, Gene Moore told WIS-TV in Columbia.

Police Chief Larry McNeil said an investigator was wounded in the hand and was hospitalized in good condition.

After the shooting, bullet holes were seen in a number of buildings. Dan McNiel, sports editor at the Marlboro Herald-Advocate, whose office is downtown, said he saw at least 30 bullet casings along two blocks.

Bennettsville, the seat of Marlboro County, is in eastern South Carolina, about 10 miles south of the North Carolina line.


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