Report: Man killed by Myrtle Beach officers seen holding rifle before shooting

Report: Man killed by Myrtle Beach officers seen holding rifle before shooting

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A police report is shedding light on the circumstances that led to a deadly officer-involved shooting over the weekend in Myrtle Beach.

According to the report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department, officers were called to a residence on Lagoon Place at 1:20 a.m. Saturday for a report of a stolen specialized bicycle valued at $600.

The victim said the bike was stolen from inside the garage sometime between 4 p.m. on Oct. 11, and 1:20 a.m. Oct. 12. The garage door was open at the time of the theft so there was no forced entry, the report stated. No one was home at the time.

A neighbor told police an unknown white male was seen climbing over a fence by using a ladder, according to the report. Officers established a perimeter for the suspect, who was reportedly hiding the woods.

At 2 a.m., officers saw the man riding a bicycle that matched the victim’s stolen bike. He was heading toward 65th Avenue North, police said.

The man was allegedly seen holding a rifle in the area of 65th Avenue North and Wedgewood Street, which is where the shooting took place, the report stated.

According to the Horry County Coroner’s Office, 32-year-old Matthew Graham of Loris died as a result of the shooting. The two Myrtle Beach officers were not injured.

Graham was the only suspect named in the police report regarding the stolen bicycle.

On Monday, it was announced the two officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay following the shooting.

Myrtle Beach Police Cpl. Tom Vest said the department is following standard procedure regarding a situation where lethal force was used. The officers’ names have not been released at this time.

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is continuing its investigation into the shooting.

For 2019, there have been 38 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, according to SLED. This is the first officer-involved shooting in the city of Myrtle Beach for the year.

WMBF News spoke with the father of the man killed who said police were looking for his son because of court warrants for not showing up in court.

He also said Graham owned his own bicycle so he’s confused about the reports of him being connected to the stolen bicycle.

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