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Chester man shot dead by Myrtle Beach police

MYRTLE BEACH -- Authorities have identified a man who was fatally shot by police Tuesday night on Ocean Boulevard near the Pavilion as Codyus Naville Morris of Chester.

The shooting of Morris, 26, occurred near the 900 block of Ocean Boulevard, an area witnesses said was congested at the time of the shooting and vehicles inched along.

Shots rang out just after 10 p.m. Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said Morris died at the scene.

Edge said the cause of death was a gunshot wound, but he could not say how many times Morris was shot because an investigation is ongoing.

Abraham Abecassis, an employee at Rock & Wave on Ocean Boulevard, said he didn't witness the shooting but said chaos followed.

"People were crying. Children were crying," Abecassis said.

Authorities released few details about the shooting on Wednesday.

The names of police involved were not released.

Myrtle Beach police declined to release information, including whether more than one officer was involved, because the incident is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division. SLED agents would not comment because the investigation is open.

According to a police incident report, officers were flagged down by a citizen who said a man in a black Chevrolet Impala was pointing a weapon at people.

Officers located the vehicle traveling southbound on Ocean Boulevard and approached, the incident report stated.

The man in the vehicle opened fire on the officers and the officers returned fire, wounding the man, the report said.

Morris was pronounced dead around 10:40 p.m., Edge said.

It was unclear why Morris was in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.

His relatives were contacted Wednesday by The Sun News, but they declined to comment about him or the shooting. They said they were trying to get answers about what happened.

Myrtle Beach police are conducting their own internal investigation into the fatal shooting, said Chief Warren Gall.

"We're running a parallel investigation to determine if the department's rules and regulations were followed," Gall said.

He said the department's general policy is that officers are required to identify themselves and that any force used has to be reasonable and justified.

The police chief also said that whether officers confront an armed person in a crowded area depends on the circumstance.

Often, officers don't create the circumstance but it is created by a suspect, Gall said.

SLED records show Morris has had previous convictions that included manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine, a sex offender registry violation, and criminal domestic violence, in Chester County.

Chester County authorities say Morris has an extensive criminal background in that area and is well-known to police there.

"Veteran officers know him very well because they have had to deal with him," said Sheriff Robby Benson with the Chester County Sheriff's Office.

"He has been known at a young age to be a violent person throughout the community and among law enforcers," Benson said.

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