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UPDATE: Columbus Co. deputies shoot, kill murder suspect; 2nd death under investigation

TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) — Investigators say Columbus County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a murder suspect in Tabor City overnight after they say he fired at them. Meanwhile they are also investigating a fire, where another man died.

Investigators say the man deputies shot is Dion Julius Brown, 22. They they say Brown is responsible for the murder of a grocery store clerk in Loris, SC, Sunday night. Malcolm “Mac” Ray Norris, 49, of Tabor City, died in that shooting during an armed robbery.

Detectives say they got a tip Brown was in the area yesterday, at which point Columbus County Sheriff’s deputies and Horry County (SC) Police began working together to find him. Late last night officers began combing the area for Brown.

During that search, a call came in around 1:50 a.m. of a fire at a home at 311 W. 2nd St. in Tabor City. When investigators arrived, they saw Brown leaving the home and chased him into the woods. They say Brown shot at deputies hitting one. The deputy was not hurt, because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest, which investigators say likely saved his life.

Deputies returned fire and wound up killing Brown. Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher says two deputies are on paid administrative leave as the shooting is investigated.

Meanwhile, the SBI is looking into the 2nd Street fire as arson. District Attorney Jon David says Brown is believed to have set the fire. Investigators have not released the name of the man who died in that fire as they try to notify his family.

Investigators say they are also looking into whether Brown was involved in other incidents in the area, including the robbery of the Tabor City McDonald’s yesterday.

Stay with WWAY for more information as it is available.

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