Beaufort police released little new information Wednesday about their investigation of the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old man Tuesday inside a Subway restaurant.
Travis Sentell Holmes, 28, of Burton was inside the sandwich shop on Robert Smalls Parkway at about 7 p.m. when a man entered with a woman, according to a Beaufort Police Department.
The man left the restaurant with the woman but quickly returned and opened fired on Holmes, police said.
Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott. His body was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for an autopsy, Ott added.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
The gunman was described by police only as a black man with dreadlocks last seen wearing a black hat and a white shirt. Investigators believe he may have left in a dark-colored Ford sedan."Although there are theories as to what motivated the crime, none have been verified at this time," Police Chief Matt Clancy said in a prepared statement. "Since the investigation is active, many details can't be released, as they might jeopardize it."
Holmes was no stranger to area law enforcement.
He had been arrested 13 times in less than 10 years, including once on a murder charge in 2002, twice on assault and battery with intent to kill charges in 2008 and 2009, and once on charges of receiving stolen goods and felony marijuana possession in April 2010, according to court records.
Holmes pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the 2002 murder charge, which was connected to an armed robbery in the Burton area, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.
The marijuana charge and several others still were pending when Holmes died Tuesday, the Solicitor's Office said.
Tuesday's shooting was the fourth in northern Beaufort County in about a week, and the second within Beaufort city limits during daylight hours.
A 17-year-old Beaufort teen was arrested after he allegedly opened fire on a group of men playing basketball at about 1 p.m. on July 19 near the Charles Lind Brown Activity Center on Greene Street.
The recent surge in daytime gun violence has startled many area residents who visited businesses Wednesday near the scene of the fatal shooting. The sandwich shop was cordoned off by police tape and enclosed by a clear plastic tarp.
"This is not the kind of thing you expect to see in Beaufort," said Wanda Brown of Burton. "We can't be having these thugs shooting at each other in the middle of the day. It shouldn't be happening at all, but especially not in a busy place like this, where someone innocent could easily be killed."
Clancy said there is no known connection between this week's shootings.
"This lawless conduct will not be tolerated, and anyone who is discovered to have assisted or hidden these criminals will be charged along with them," Clancy said. "Together, the department and the community will prevail over those who attempt to disrupt the quality of life we enjoy in Beaufort."
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.
Man fatally shot at restaurant as gun violence in Beaufort continues, July 26, 2011