LUMBERTON, N.C. (WMBF) — A suspect wanted for a murder in Marlboro County, South Carolina, was killed Friday in a shootout with North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers on Interstate 95 in Robeson County, officials said.
The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Jamake Cason Thomas, was pronounced dead in the vehicle, according to information from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Initially, the suspect was spotted in Maxton and chased onto I-95, according to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. Troopers tried to stop the vehicle several times before the shooting.
Officials said the suspect eventually stopped and was shot dead near mile marker 7. Visible gun shots were on the passenger-side window. Emergency EMTs removed the body from the vehicle, and both the suspect's and troopers' cars were towed away.
According to WRAL out of Raleigh, N.C., I-95 was closed near Raynham Road, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It reopened shortly before 4 p.m.
The fire chief of the McDonald Raymond District, Jimmy Hunt, said the southbound side of the interstate was shut down for about six hours Friday, moving drivers onto the one-lane rural roads as they approached the scene, according to WRAL. He said he called in extra personnel to make it smooth. "It's a pretty quiet area here, the community here is pretty quiet, you know this is just something major that happened in our district that we not normally used to," Hunt said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, which is standard protocol for trooper-involved shootings. Trooper Douglas Strickland and Trooper Henry Locklear, a nine- and 12-year veteran, respectively, were both placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, according to the NCDPS.
Marlboro County Coroner Tim Brown said he was told by investigators that the I-95 shootout was connected to a homicide investigation and the suspect appears to be the victim's son.
Tina Thomas, 42, was found dead at her Adamsville Road home of an apparent gunshot wound, according to Brown.