Man shot, killed in Beaufort; suspect at large

astice@islandpacket.comJanuary 30, 2012 

Police say a 48-year-old man was shot and killed in a residence on Adventure Street in Beaufort on Saturday afternoon, leading to an hours-long search for his killer, who remains at large.

Officers with the Beaufort Police Department responded to 610 Adventure Street shortly before 5 p.m. after reports of a gunshot victim, according to a news release. They found Michael Edward Smith, 48, of Beaufort, who had been fatally shot, according to Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen.

Witnesses reported seeing the suspect, described as a black man with dreadlocks wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey and jeans, leaving the scene on foot. Other witnesses reported seeing the suspect near apartments on Duke Street, where an officer spotted him lying in a wooded area and chased him but was unable to catch him, according to the release.

The suspect was last seen in the area of an abandoned house and was thought to be hiding in the attic. The Beaufort and Port Royal police departments and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office surrounded the house, but the Sheriff's Office SWAT team and K-9 units did not locate the suspect in a search of the home, the release said.

Investigators worked through the night processing evidence and interviewing witnesses. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents have been assisting with the investigation.

A motive has not been determined, but police do not believe the killing was a "random act," according to the release.

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