Port Royal police detective Andre Massey was preparing to film a spot for "America's Most Wanted" about Leo DeAndre Scott on Thursday afternoon when he got the call.
Massey, along with Georgia authorities and the U.S. Marshals Service, had been looking for Scott since Jan. 26, when he allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend in the head during a domestic dispute in the town of Port Royal and fled in her car.
Massey learned from the call Thursday that Scott was holed up in an apartment in his native Columbus, Ga., with police and federal authorities waiting to arrest him on the murder charge, but Scott would not be taken alive.
After hearing a single gunshot, a SWAT team entered the apartment and found Scott in an upstairs bedroom, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was not the outcome Massey had hoped for.
"I would never wish death upon anybody," Massey said.
Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren felt similarly.
"We were hoping we could ... put him in custody and take him back to the Carolinas to stand trial," Boren told reporters.
Investigators say Scott shot Velencia Compton, 21, in the head last month inside her apartment on Battery Lane, then fled in her car with their 3-year-old son, Jayden.
An Amber Alert was issued for the child, who was found in Columbus after Scott dropped the boy off at a relative's house.
Massey said investigators have since learned that Scott had driven to Port Royal with a bouquet of roses and hoped to reunite with Compton, a Navy corpsman stationed at Naval Hospital Beaufort.
"When the two started arguing, Leo Scott shot her," Massey said.
The two were not in a relationship at the time of the shooting, Massey added.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.
The Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer contributed to this report.