By Mike McCombs
Investigators with the Port Royal Police Department have identified a suspect in last Wednesday’s robbery and shooting at the Parker’s at 1451 Ribaut Road.
On Tuesday, Feb. 1, a Port Royal Municipal Judge issued arrest warrants for Shykeim Raykawan Wright for the charges of Attempted Murder, two counts of Armed Robbery, Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime and two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Wright has also been linked to and is being named as a suspect in the robbery at the Dollar General on Ribaut Road on Monday, Jan. 24, and warrants are forthcoming for those crimes.
According to Capt. John Griffith of the Port Royal Police Department, Wright should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who comes into contact with him or anyone having information on his whereabouts should contact the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777, the Port Royal Police Department at 843-986-2220 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.
The Parker’s robbery
According to Port Royal Police, at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26, a black male – allegedly Wright – walked into the convenience store wearing a blue sweatshirt, dark pants, white tennis shoes, a stocking cap and a protective mask – like those worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Initially, the man milled about for a few moments until all customers had left the store.
According to Capt. Griffith, the man then pulled out a “small, dark-colored semi-automatic handgun” and robbed the clerk. Before the clerk could comply with the man’s demands, he shot the clerk three times.
“It appears that they were life-threatening injuries,” Capt. Griffith said. “He was shot once in the face and twice in the body. He was obviously very lucky. He remained conscious throughout the whole thing.”
The clerk was hospitalized at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
Despite his injuries, the clerk was still able to get up, open the register and give the shooter money.
A customer entered the store as the shooter was leaving. The shooter allegedly robbed that customer, as well, collecting less than $200 from the register and the customer combined.
The man left on foot, fleeing toward Beaufort.
“There is no information thus far to lead us to believe he left in a vehicle,” Capt. Griffith said Tuesday.
An $11,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of a suspect.
The Port Royal Police Department offered a reward of $1,000, and Parker’s added $5,000 to that for a total reward of $6,000, initially. But Parker’s doubled their contribution the following day.
Just a couple hours prior to Tuesday’s release from the Port Royal Police Department naming Wright as a suspect and announcing the warrants for his arrest, Capt. Griffith said, “we’ve gotten multiple tips, and investigators still tracking down those tips as we speak.”
The Dollar General robbery
The details surrounding the robbery of Dollar General in Port Royal just two days before were similar to those of the Parker’s crime.
Capt. Griffith could not confirm the events were related, but even prior to the issue of the arrest warrants, he said, “So far, there’s nothing to prove it’s the same individual, though we suspect it could be.”
At around 10 a.m., a black male clad similarly to the suspect in the Parker’s robbery – blue sweatshirt, jeans, white tennis shoes, dark stocking cap and, once again, a protective mask – entered the Dollar General.
He appeared to shop for a few minutes before he approached the counter and robbed the manager and one other employee that was there. Once again, the suspect brandished a small, dark-colored, semi-automatic handgun. And once again, the suspect fled on foot.
This story will be updated.
Mike McCombs is the Editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.